Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Gobble gobble! Enjoy yet another chapter this week! And for a certain part of this chapter, you can find the corresponding story in my Hockey Short Stories blog. It's titled Melting A Heart of Ice*
Mel had been on Cloud Nine ever since she walked off the plane in the Pittsburgh airport and Sid was waiting for her at the terminal gate. His flight had arrived a mere twenty minutes before hers, so he had settled in and found her gate. She saw him sitting there, waiting for her to disembark from the airplane. Max was waiting for them in the Arrivals parking area. He was leaning against his car, scowling at the two of them when they walked out the automatic doors.
“How could you propose without us all there?!”
Sid immediately asked how he knew about the ring and Max snorted.
“Flower called me last night. Why did he know?!”
Mel dropped her bag and hugged him tight.
“Good to see you two Maximus. And as for Marc… he was standing there, like thirty feet away from us. He saw Sid holding the ring and saw me leap into his arms. It wasn’t rocket science.”
“But why did it not happen here, when all of us could see it??”
“I don’t think that you guys were on his priority list of ‘people being around when the question is popped.’”
She could tell that Max wasn’t satisfied yet. She turned toward Sid and gave him a ‘help me out here’ look.
“Actually, I didn’t really plan it. It just… happened.”
“So, you just happened to be carrying the ring in your pocket, just in case?! That’s a load of bullsh--”
Mel shushed him by putting her hand over his mouth.
“Honestly Max, it wasn’t planned. Stop acting like a spurned lover and congratulate me! I’ll tell you all about it and what he said if you promise to be nice and not harp on not being there.”
Seeming appeased for now, Max nodded and the three of them walked to his car. She smiled as Sid grabbed her hand, his fingers lacing with hers as they walked. Even as she retold the story, the smile wouldn’t fall from her face. Tossing their suitcases into the trunk, Mel climbed in the backseat, anxious to get home and relax.
When they got to Mario’s house, Sid looked like a little kid. And a scared one at that, like he’d ran away and was now being brought back to await his punishment. Mel wondered briefly if he really would be punished. But they had done nothing wrong. They were in love, and he’d done the natural thing… she didn’t feel guilty. Did he?
“Sid… are you afraid that Mario is going to be angry with you for asking me to marry you?”
“What?? God no! I don’t want to go in there because Nathalie’s home and she’s going to freak out on me for not wining and dining you before I got down on one knee with the restaurant musicians behind me and said the perfect thing before slowly sliding that ring on your finger.”
“I liked how you did it much more,” she chuckled form her seat.
“Mon ami, you need to just go in there. I bet it’s not as bad as you are thinking it will be.”
When Sid still hesitated, Mel threw her hands in the air and opened the door.
“Thanks for the ride Maximus! I owe you one! I’m going inside now Sid, hope you make it in sooner or later.”
Without bothering to get anything but her purse, Mel shut the car door and skipped up the steps to the front door of the house. Knocking in a musical way, she waited until the door opened. Nathalie threw the door open and immediately grabbed for her left hand.
“Let me see! Let me see! Oh my god it’s so beautiful! Where did he find this? Is it a family heirloom? I bet his mom gave it to him! How did she know he was going to propose? You look so happy! Oh my god I’m so excited!”
Mel stood there, dumbfounded, as she tried to process all of the questions that had just been asked. She opened her mouth to speak and heard Mario laughing as he came in from the dining room.
“Good grief Nat, let her breathe!”
Nathalie acquiesced but she still had a hold of Mel’s hand, examining the ring. It fit perfectly on her finger. That in itself was amazing. The stone in the center shone as it caught a beam of light. It wasn’t a classic engagement ring, that was for sure. There were diamonds, but they weren’t the focal point. No, the center stone was a beautiful marquise cut sapphire. There was a ruby on one side of the stone, an emerald on the other. And then, placed throughout the band were tiny diamonds.
Whoever had made this ring had certainly put a lot of time into it. And thought. She had googled the meaning behind all of the stones this morning before she’d boarded the plane for home.
Sapphire: Truth, sincerity, commitment, loyalty
Emerald: Patience, understanding, foresight
Ruby: Love, success, integrity, passion & promise
Diamond: Invincibility, clarity, purity, eternal love
Everything she wanted in a man, everything she wanted in a marriage… all those things were now represented on her finger. Nathalie was still gushing, refusing to release her hand, and Mel just laughed as the woman started making lists of everyone they needed to call, everything that needed to be done for the wedding.
“We haven’t picked a date yet Nathalie, and I still have to tell my parents.”
Mel looked up, finding Sid in the doorway, an amused smile on his face. She broke out into a fit of giggles when Nathalie jumped up and ran over to him, hugging him as she gushed about how happy she was for him, for both of them, and how excited she was. And she was just positive that Troy and Trina were going to be ecstatic.
Mario asked if he’d told his agent yet. Sid shook his head and Mario promised to make the call right away, one less thing that he would have to deal with. Mel was surprised really that it wasn’t all over the internet already. Then again… there had been thousands of people in Vancouver, and it was darker. Maybe no one actually saw what happened in the midst of the ceremonies.
“I should call my mom!”
Pulling out her phone, Mel dialed her mom’s number and waited for her to pick up the phone. Sid was already talking to his mother, she could tell by the look on his face that it was her. If it was Troy, Sid’s face probably wouldn’t have been so calm. She stopped eavesdropping when she heard her mom’s voice.
“Did you make it home safely?”
“I did… Momma… I have something to tell you.”
“Oh do you? Will I be happy when I hear this?”
“I think so. I’m happy about it!”
“Well, then you should come visit soon so that I can see the ring and how beautiful it is!”
Letting out a startled laugh, Mel promised to get together in a couple days. She was promising to call later that night when she heard Sid laugh and promise to give ‘the little lady’ a kiss. Then he asked to talk to his mom.
Wait a minute, he’d been talking with his dad this whole time?! Troy said to give me a kiss?? Say what?! AWESOME!
She put her phone in her purse and leaned against Sid, smiling as he rested his chin on her forehead. They stayed that way until he hung up and then she led him to his room, showing him once more how much she loved him.
She drove home, showing off the new accessory to Lexie and Tori, and then she laughed when Sid showed up on their doorstep, flowers in his hand. They spent the evening just relaxing and vegging out. Turning in early, Mel set her alarm so that she’d have plenty of time to get ready for work. That morning, she felt like hell.
It was the start of a sickness that hit her so hard that she made a doctor appointment after a week of barely being able to function as a human being, let a long a high school teacher. Whatever she picked up in Vancouver didn’t want to go away.
Sid heard the buzzing off in the distance. It got louder and louder, but he couldn’t find it in him to open his eyes and figure out what was making the damn noise. Trying to ignore it, he turned over in Mel’s bed, his head burrowing under the covers.
“Sid, answer your fucking phone before I flush it down the toilet!”
He shot up at the yell. It was coming from the bathroom, and the person the voice belonged to sounded horrible. It had been almost two weeks since the return from Vancouver, and Mel didn’t seem to be the only one who came down with something.
A couple of the guys were sick too. It had started a few days after they arrived back home. A flu bug that wouldn’t go away. Or a virus of some sort. She was going to the doctor’s today. And from the sounds of it, she’d been tossing her cookies already this morning.
His phone started blaring again and he reached out, hitting Send and barking into the device.
“This had better be good because…”
“Alex is getting married!”
“What?! Alex who?? Ovechkin?”
“No Doofy, not Ovechkin. Our Alex… Goligoski…”
“Goose is getting married?! I didn’t even know he was dating anyone seriously!”
“Remember that girl we’ve been telling you about? Maggie? Well, he asked her this morning, she said yes, so they’re getting married!”
“This is the season of love I guess! Well, have they set a date then?”
“WHAT?! We have to fly out to Carolina today!”
“Not until the afternoon. And besides, I have it all figured out. I only need you to do two things. First, I need your support, 110% support with no questions asked, and secondly… I need to you take him to the jewelers.”
“That’s it. Case closed.”
“What are you planning Bill?”
“Just come to the arena as soon as possible. Bring your suit. Tell Mel to come too if she’s feeling up to it.”
“She’s got an appointment at 8:30. But if she gets done in time, I’ll make sure she’s there. Should I be scared?”
“Hello no! You don’t trust me?”
Sid heard him laugh after he asked the question. Of course I do, but I’m still worried! Bill was up to something huge, and it was going to be insane. Sid was sure of that fact. But promising to be in, he hung up and got out of bed, going over to the bathroom door. Mel was brushing her teeth.
“Goose is getting married. Today. I’m supposed to tell you to come to the arena after your appointment if you can. I don’t know what the old man is planning, but it’s going to be epic. I can tell.”
Mel nodded her head as she continued to run the toothbrush over her teeth. He jumped in her shower quickly, actually getting through in lightning time since she wasn’t in there to distract him. Thirty minutes later he was driving to the arena, his suit laid out over his backseat. When he got into the locker room, most of the guys were there already.
“Okay, what is this all about? Billy… BILLY! Where are you?!”
“Right here Junior. No need to yell. Alex should be here in a few moments. You’re going to take him to the jeweler’s and then straight back here. We’re on a bit of a time crunch, and this needs to go off without any real problems. And no rings… that’s a problem.”
Alex came in a few minutes later. Sid could see the shock on his face. He looked at his watch, noting the time.
“Hey Alex, we need to leave. You only have a certain amount to time before we have to leave. Let’s get to the shop!”
Goose let Sid lead him out of the locker room and toward his car. He finally woke up out of his day dream and when they got to the little shop, he wasted no time in finding a ring for himself. But the panicked look on his face when the man asked him what Maggie would like… fuck.
“Alex, think about it… what would she like. Close your eyes. Okay, you’re down on one knee, she’s smiling, you pull the box out of your pocket and open it… what’s it look like?”
Goose opened his eyes a second later, a huge smile on his face. He picked out a beautiful set, content to hand the man his card without even asking the cost. Sid knew the feeling. He would’ve paid any price when looking at rings if his mom hadn’t thought of the heirloom. He laughed to himself as he recalled calling his folks.
“Good afternoon son. Make it back to Pittsburgh safely?”
“Yeah, and I got some great news! I… I’m getting married.”
“No, to some stranger I met on the plane ride back. Yes to Melany!”
“Are you sure about this?”
“I am. And no, I’m not changing my mind.”
“Well, I like her too… so if you’re going to go through with this, you have my blessing!”
“You don’t know how great that sounds coming from you Dad.”
“Give the little lady a kiss from me. I’ll let you tell your mother. And we’ll be down for the final home game.”
His mom had cried. She tried to tell him she hadn’t, but he heard the sniffles. She wanted to know all about it, did it fit, did Mel cry. Taking a deep breath, Sid looked up as Alex was grabbing the bag from the salesman. They were back in the bar and on their way back to the arena when Alex started talking about her, about Maggie. He told Sid about her signs, the Gold Medal game and how psyched he was for today.
“She makes these hilarious signs for the games that she’d been to. The first one she ever made was for you. It said ‘Sidney Makes Me Howl At The Moon’ and she said that she swears you fought because of it. That the guy you went rounds with made a comment on it or something.”
“Was that the game right before Halloween, against the Wild??”
“Yeah! She’s brought other signs though, normally creative things. She’s got them all in her bedroom at the townhouse she was previously living in. I told her I was going to frame mine from Valentine’s Day,” his friend said with a laugh.
“Valentine’s Day… wait... NO! You’re marrying the sign girl?! For real???”
“I am! She’s so great Sid. You should tell her about your amusement with her sign. She’d die of embarrassment, it’ll be amusing. You were the first one she ever made a sign for.”
“Are you sure you want me talking to her then? Don’t wanna cause a rift between you two on your wedding day. That would be real good… ‘Bride objects to own wedding to D-man of the Pens, tackles captain of the team instead.’ Could you imagine??”
“No worries... we’re… I don’t know how to explain it… connected I guess. You know what I mean. Look at you and Mel.”
Sid nodded thoughtfully and as they pulled into the parking lot again, he grabbed his phone and texted his woman. She should be at the doctor’s office by now, maybe she already had news on what was going on. He slid his cell back into his pocket and walked inside with Alex. They were all getting dressed, putting on suits, and Sid saw the anxious look on his face when they got to the rink itself.
Billy has outdone himself.
Sid sat in the second row, saving a spot for Mel. She’d sent him a text, explaining that she was on her way now and should be there before the ceremony started. He glanced back, happy that they’d been able to do this on such short notice. Mel popped her head out onto the ice and he waved her forward. She walked carefully in her heels, dressed in that yellow dress from her birthday last year.
I love that dress. Such memories.
She plopped down beside him, her hand finding his and she gave it a squeeze.
“So, what did the doctor say?”
“They took blood and stuff, just to rule out all kinds of things. He said that they should know within 48 hours for sure just what is wrong with me.”
Sid smiled and kissed her cheek. She smiled back, but it didn’t reach her eyes. The one thing she knew for sure already was that she wasn’t pregnant. With the way she’d been feeling for the past week alone…
I thought that was it, I really did.
It was true that she wasn’t just sick in the morning, but that sometimes happened. They called it morning sickness, but it was possible for it to be other times. Heck, Erin hadn’t really had any sickness at all. Turning, Mel found her friend in the crowd. Erin waved and then popped what looked like an animal cracker between her lips.
Pregnant women and their cravings.
Mel shook her head and went back to listing the reasons why she thought she’d been pregnant. She’d missed her last period. Looking back now, she had been really stressed last month. Getting everything ready for her sub, making sure the students were comprehending everything, dealing with Sid. He was worse than an entire class full of students sometimes.
She wasn’t feeling any hungrier than normal, but her breasts had been so freaking sensitive the past two nights… every touch from Sid had made her scream. Which had spurred him on and… Mel shivered from the memories of how he stroked and licked her body. Sid placed his arm around her shoulders.
“Are you cold babe? Maybe you should’ve brought more than a short-sleeved sweater, especially since you aren’t feeling well.”
“I’m fine Sid.”
Just not pregnant with your child.
She should’ve been thrilled when the doctor came in and smiled, telling her that was one thing they could definitely cross off the list. Instead of joining in with his jovial mood, hers had plummeted. And she hadn’t realized until he said ‘negative’ just how much she had been hoping it was ‘positive.’ Sid had already shown interest in that area.
She’d seen the look on his face when he’d thought that earlier this year. When she’d told him that she was moving here for a job, not carrying his future son or daughter. Of course he’d been happy, but he’d been disappointed as well. Now she knew how he felt.
Pasting a smile on her face, she attempted to pay attention throughout the ceremony. She couldn’t believe that Goose was getting married, but just looking at the two of them standing there… they were so precious together. There was laughter throughout the entire thing. Max was in charge though, so she didn’t expect anything less.
Her stomach started twisting again as the rings were exchanged. She took Sid’s hand, squeezing and looking at him. Her face had to be pale, and the thought that she would vomit during the wedding made her mentally sick. Taking a few deep breaths, she closed her eyes and willed herself not to lose the crackers she’d managed to get down on the drive over. Sid massaged the base of her neck, promising to get her out of there as soon as the bride and groom walked down the aisle. Mel smiled at him, his thoughtfulness.
Max pronounced them ‘Mr. and Mrs. Goooose’ and she stood with everyone else, applauding the happy couple as they walked down the carpet and toward the locker room. Sid put an arm around her waist and gingerly walked her with the rest of the group. He sat her down in his stall and she leaned back as he ran over to grab her a Gatorade.
By the time he returned she was feeling somewhat better. She’d already talked to Tori. Since Johnny had picked her up, she would take home the Denali and Sid could just drive her to the house. He agreed wholeheartedly and they told the newlyweds ‘Congrats’ once more before heading out. The guys were leaving later for Carolina and Mel didn’t want him being late because of her.
When they pulled into the driveway of the house, Sid surprised her by telling her to stay in the car while he unlocked the door, then he came back and carried her in and up to her room. After placing her on the bed, she curled around a pillow as he searched for something more comfortable for her to wear. He helped her change and tucked her under the covers.
“Are you sure this isn’t something more serious Mel?”
“I honestly don’t know what it is. I just feel like shit. And everyone else who seemed to have what I have… they’re all better again.”
“But we’re hockey players. We get the best drugs known to man!”
She knew he was trying to make her laugh, and even though she didn’t want to admit it, that last line made her smile.
“You suck. Don’t make me laugh, it makes my stomach hurt. Now get outta here.”
“I can stay for a while. I don’t have to leave right this second.”
“No, go now. Or I’m going to beg you to stay. And you can’t, so don’t make the words come out. Please.”
Hating the weakness in her voice, Mel frowned and buried herself deeper under her blankets. Sid made sure she had liquid beside her bed, and a bucket, and then he pressed his lips to her forehead and left for the airport. She felt the first tear fall after she heard the front door close.
Fuck, I hate being sick. It fucks up my emotions. She didn’t even know why she was crying! Bullshit, you know why. You’re feeling sorry for yourself, because everyone you know is pregnant or has kids. It was stupid, and she knew that she should be immensely relieved that there wasn’t going to be a Baby Sidney coming out to greet the world in about eight months. But for the past two days, she’d had herself talked into the idea.
Sid called her from the hotel that night. She tried to be peppy. It didn’t work. Instead, she ended up picking a stupid fight with him about needing to plan for the wedding. As if he could tell that there was something else bothering her, that the fight wasn’t something she really meant, Sid calmly told her he didn’t want to fight, said ‘I love you’ and hung up. She cried herself to sleep.
The next morning started a nine-day road trip. Five games separated her from Sid. It seemed like a lifetime. She went to work, came home for games. The doctor’s office called Monday morning to tell her that she was suffering from the flu. They called in a prescription for meds that would kick the sickness to the curb.
The school year was coming to a close as well, and right now… her students needed her. A bunch of them would be graduating in a little over a month. There were final exams to make, early term papers to grade. Group projects to assign for extra credit. Her mind was already in teacher mode, only half listening to Sid’s voice at the other end of the line when he called her after the school day had come to a close.
“.. and I miss you. Did the doctor call you today? Do you know what’s wrong?”
“I have the flu. They got me a prescription this morning. I thought I sent you a text, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry. I’m just glad it was nothing more serious.”
“What do you mean?”
Her voice had come out sharper than she’d planned, but the way he said that… it sounded like he was happy that pregnancy wasn’t an option. He started to explain that he’d just meant he was happy that she wasn’t dying or anything like that. She started to smart off about something when he interrupted her.
“Melany… what’s really going on? This is the second time you’ve tried to ‘pick a fight’ over the phone. What’s wrong?”
“Why do you automatically think something is wrong?”
“Because you aren’t acting like yourself.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she bit out as her hand slid over her stomach. Why was she being so snippy. It really wasn’t like her. She started to apologize but Sid cut her off.
“Listen, something is bothering you. And you obviously don’t want to talk about it over the phone. Let’s just wait until I get home Thursday night. I’ll come over and you can tell me what’s wrong. We’ll just talk then, okay?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. Are you going to call me at all?”
“I don’t think that would be smart right now. You’re worked up over something, and I seem to be bringing it out… I’ll call you Thursday when I leave the airport. I love you.”
“Love you too.”
Hitting END, she threw the phone onto the desk and sprawled out on the couch in the attic. She had three days before he’d be at her house, wanting to talk.
Sid locked his car and jogged up to the front door. Using the key she’d given him, Sid unlocked the door and stepped inside the darkened house. He’d talked Johnny and Tanger into having the other two ladies meet them at their places tonight. It was just he and Melany. This seemed like the best option, all things considered.
Now, let’s see what’s bugging her.
Sid kicked his shoes off, leaving them at the bottom of the stairs. He took off his jacket and laid it over the banister of the stairs. He took them two at a time, getting up there as fast as he could. Knocking softly, Sid opened the door and peered inside. Mel was lying on the bedspread. She had a book in her hand and he pulled it away gently before leaning down and whispering in her ear.
She shot off the bed like the house was on fire. Glaring for a second in his direction, she grabbed his shirt and tugged, smiling into the pillow as he fell beside her. His weight dipped the mattress and she rolled closer, aligning her body to his.
“Okay, now… I’m home… please tell me you are okay.”
“I’m fine. Just a bug like I told you. I just… I thought it was something different, okay?”
“Did you think you were pregnant?”
He saw a single tear float down her face.
“Oh babe… come here.”
Pulling her into his arms, he ran his hands up and down her back, rocking her gently as she sniffled into his shirt. He’d wondered the same thing, but given his penchant for jumping to conclusions, this time he’d kept his mouth shut. He hadn’t realized she was thinking along the same lines.
“I’m sorry. I hate being sick,” she grumbled into his chest. “It throws my emotions off kilter and I cry at the slightest thing!”
“Ha! Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”
He’d meant it as a joke, a way to get her to smile. But when he looked down, there was a mask of pain on her face. She started crying again and, not knowing how to comfort her, he just rocked her some more while she let it all out. They stayed like that for awhile, and then he could hear her breathing even out, the soft puffs blowing against his neck from when she’d crawled up his body in an effort to be as close as possible.
Sid wished he had known the right words to say. It was obvious from the way he’d brought on the waterworks that he needed to work on comforting banter. She looked peaceful now though. The frown was gone and her cheeks were dry. Shuffling them both, he sat up against the headboard, nestling her in the crook of his arm like you would a child.
He ran his thumb over her forehead, back and forth. His mom had done that when he was younger, it was a soothing, lulling motion. Now that she was asleep, and he had time to think, he had plenty to say. Well, if I tell her when she’s out like this, it gives me preparation to say it when she’s awake and I’m not nervous.
“I’m sorry it wasn’t what you thought. But maybe this is a good thing. It gives us a chance to be together, just be a couple, before we start a family. We have all the time in the world for that actually. I don’t plan on letting you go anytime soon.”
He fingered the ring on her left hand.
“I had my suspicions as well. But I didn’t wanna jump to any conclusions. Not like the last time. So, maybe we should count our blessings now. We’ll plan the wedding, not have to rush things around, and then we’ll just flow with it. See what happens. I’d kind of like to have you to myself for a while before we’re staying up every night with feedings and diaper changes.”
He chuckled as he thought about what Geno was going to do in a few months. It shouldn’t actually be too difficult. He’d been living with Gonch for a while before Erin came along, and they had the little girl. So Geno knew what it was like.
“I’m not saying I don’t want a handful of kids with you, because I do. But let’s not put the cart before the horse on this one… I’m glad you’re asleep right now. I don’t think I could’ve gotten all that out without you yelling at me.”
Stretching his arms over his head, Sid yawned and got ready to lift her and move her down the bed.
“I love waking up to you talking to me while I’m sleeping. I bet you do it a lot.”
He jumped at her voice. Looking down, he noticed first the smile on her lips. Then he saw the love in her eyes. No sadness, no half smiles. His Melany was back. He bent down and kissed her softly, barely moving his lips over hers.
“I talk to you when you’re asleep so I can get a word in edgewise,” he told her jokingly. She poked him in the side and laughed along with him. “Do you wanna talk some more?”
Mel shook her head before slipping off his lap and rolling to her knees. Then she slid one leg over him, sitting on his lap and facing him. Two fingers crept up his shirt until they were running back and forth along the collar. She undid the top two buttons, her fingers skimming over the neck of his tee under his dress shirt.
“I think we’ve talked enough. And we’ve got the house to ourselves for the night, don’t we?”
“I... I don’t know… maybe…”
“Oh, I was under the impression that you asked Kris and Brent to keep the girls away. Was I mistaken?”
Mel was placing feather-light kisses along his jaw. She nipped his chin, soothing the mark with her tongue. She did the same thing along his neck, first one side, then the other. Sid groaned, these light touches more of a torture than when she just pounced on him. He started to tell her that very thought when she dropped one of her hands and ran a finger over his cock. The quivering length under the two layers jumped at the slight touch and he gasped.
Over a week with no one touching him… he hadn’t even whacked off. Most of the guys at least did that, some found female company. But he’d kept his hands to himself, taking out his sexual frustrations on the ice, the puck, the opposing players. Now he was back home, and Melany was in his arms.
“Someone seems needy,” she breathed in his ear as his hips lifted, craving more of her touch.
Sid growled and grabbed her hands. Holding them behind her back, he buried his face between her breasts. He couldn’t get too much of her skin, not with the tank top covering her, but what he could see he teased with his lips and tongue. Moving her arms closer together, he held both wrists in one hand and then used his free one to lift the material.
Pulling it up to bare her breasts, he brought his lips down over one nipple, tugging on it with his teeth as she gasped and arched into his mouth. She cursed and thrashed but he held her to him, sucking hard on her flesh, tasting the body he’d been craving since he flew out.
Releasing her wrists, he brought both his hands up, pushing her tits together and using long, slow licks over both hardened tips, drawing a moan from her lips. Her fingers came up and she sunk them in his hair, managing to hold onto him even though he’d gotten it cut while they’d been in Florida.
“God Sid, you don’t know how much I’ve missed you.”
“You only want me for my body.”
“Never. That’s a bonus. Now shut up, you talk too much.”
He chuckled as Mel undid each button of his shirt before pushing it off his shoulders. He shrugged it off, lifting his arms then so she could pull his t-shirt off as well. She ran her hands over his chest, purring as her fingers touched each muscle over his stomach. They clenched and trembled under her touch. She bent backward slightly and went to work on his pants.
As she opened them, pulled down his briefs and wrapped her fingers around his throbbing cock, Sid closed his eyes and shuddered. She laughed and slowly slid her hand up and down a few times, jerking him off as she sat on his thighs.
“No,” he growled. Then, shifting quickly, he tossed her backward, hearing her intake of breath. She loved his dirty side. Sure, she loved romance, he knew that. But he knew what his dominant side did to her as well.
Sid stared down at her. Flushed face, shirt up to her chin, her breasts bouncing as she settled onto the mattress. He grabbed at her sweats and pulled, jerking them to her knees. Mel went to make a kicking motion to help him but he grunted and kept her legs together, bending them back. He needed this too much to waste time taking her pants off all the way.
Falling over her, Sid slung both legs over his shoulder and guided himself inside her. She was already wet and ready for him. So easy to get her warmed up, so lucky for me. He pulled back and thrust forward again.
Twisting her legs, he groaned as he sunk himself balls deep into her pussy, her body tighter because of the position. She felt fucking fantastic. Her cries of passion as he humped against her stroked his ego. Watching her through his hooded gaze as she clawed for purchase against the bedspread made him want to pound into her even harder.
“I’m not going to last long sweetheart. Sorry if you don…”
Redoubling his efforts, he pushed her legs backward, pressing them almost to her chest as he ground his pelvis against hers. She called his name over and over, mingling ‘yes, oh god and Jesus’ time and again. He could feel his release churning in his balls, felt the heat of the moment almost there, creeping up his neck.
He was sure that his face was red, he felt sweat drip down his temples. She twitched beneath him, her mouth opening in a silent scream. He watched her head tip back and she jerked once before an actual screamed ripped from her throat. He felt her wetness cover him as he pistoned in and out. Holding onto her hips he bottomed out once more and let loose a guttural cry as he emptied himself inside her clenching muscles.
Sid managed to pull himself out of her sweet depths and tugged her pants back up to at least cover her for now. He flopped down beside her on his stomach, his face pressed into the duvet as he breathed in her scent through the blanket. He heard her gasping for air, and then she started giggling. Finding a burst of energy, he lifted his head up enough to ask her what was so funny.
“Well, you know… I am on birth control, but if we do want to wait a little longer, you should probably try to contain the number of times you let loose your demon seed inside of me.”
He barked out a laugh and pulled her into his arms, smiling as she giggled again and told him to get his sweaty body off of her. They lay there for a few more moments before standing and stripping. She crooked a finger at him and led him into the bathroom, where she showed him, once again, just how much she missed him.
They fell asleep, arms and legs entwined, and when the morning broke and the sun started shining in her window, Sid smiled down at the sleeping woman in his arms. Tucking a stray hair behind her ear, he thought to himself about when they finally did have a baby.
I’m a liar. I would be completely content if she got pregnant now. Okay, after we get married. Maybe right before.
He stopped thinking about it when she woke up, smiling up at him.
“Wanna make breakfast for a bunch of the guys? Let your roommates actually come back to the house?”
“Mmmm, sounds good. You call everyone. I’m going to grab another shower and then I’ll head downstairs and start cooking.”
A couple hours later they were all sitting around the table, laughing and talking about funny moments from the road trip. He could feel the excitement in the air already. The season was almost over and playoffs were coming up. They had a solid chance to go far again this year. Only time would tell though.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
“Sid!! We’re going to be late!”
“We are not going to be late. Did you say this started at 3p.m.? It’s only 12 o’clock! I’ll be ready in two minutes. Calm down!”
“You calm down!”
Sid shook his head and stifled a laugh as he ran his hands through his hair. There was really nothing more he could do with it, no hope for it.
Fucking curls from hell.
He’d have chopped it off by now, but Melany insisted that she loved it at this length. He was pretty sure she just wanted something to grab onto when she was guiding him to her…
“God woman, you are really annoying sometimes, you know that right??”
He heard her grumble something about him and he grabbed the necklace he had in his overnight bag. He had planned on waiting until they got to her family’s house, but she had been so testy for the past two days. He knew it wasn’t him that she was angry with or anything but… It still didn’t make him feel good. Not being able to help her.
But for the first time since they’d met, she wouldn’t open up to him.
“Can I give you one of your presents,” he said as he leaned against the door frame to the bathroom.
“No! No presents until gift time at my aunt & uncle’s. Got it?”
“Got it. And I will adhere to that promise, and be ready to leave… as soon as you tell me what your problem is.”
“I don’t have a problem.”
“Liar. You’ve been wound so tightly for like… four days. What’s going on inside there?”
Sid pointed to her head and watched her stiffen under his gaze.
“Nothing. I’m just ready to see my family. It’s been awhile.”
“Okay… And what is the real problem?”
“John’s been at Christmas dinner for the past three years. And I haven’t told anyone yet that he deployed… and I haven’t heard from him in two weeks so I’m just a little worried.”
“Worried about him, or that your family will think you’ve just traded him in for someone else?”
“About him, jerk.”
Sid smiled. It may have sounded like an insult, but the smile he saw on her face told him that she didn’t mean it. He stepped over and wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly as he pressed a kiss to her forehead.
“He’ll be fine. He’s been over there before. He knows the risks. But he won’t do anything stupid. He’s got a wife and good friends to come home to. Okay?”
He held her until she finally nodded in agreement. Then, with a swift kiss, Sid smiled and jogged back into the bathroom to grab his bag. They had just shut the front door to Mario’s when he asked her if she wanted to drive.
“You don’t wanna drive? You’re a guy. They always want to drive places.”
“Well, I know that you know the way. And I don’t.”
“That’s true. Sure, I don’t mind. You still wanna take your car then? You trust me to drive your baby?”
“I have a better idea.”
Sid tossed her a set of keys. He watched as she looked down at the key ring.
“What is this?”
“Hit the unlock button and find out.”
Mel held up the fob and as she pressed the button, lights blinked at her from behind.
“Sidney. What is this?”
He wouldn’t. She stared at the vehicle. It had a giant red bow on it. He would.
“Merry Christmas babe.”
“Sid. This… this is… this is too mu...”
“It’s not. It’s perfect. You needed a better car for winter here in Pittsburgh. It’s got more space than your car, built-in GPS, remote start for those chilly mornings. And it’s shiny. You like shiny.”
“I like shiny?? What am I, a squirrel?”
“No. But you can’t deny that this is nice. It’s got everything you wanted in a car.”
“You bought me a car.”
“I won’t be able to make you take it back, will I?”
“Nope. Say ‘I love it’ and give me a kiss.”
Mel shook her head but walked over to him. She grabbed his face in her hands and pulled him down. When his lips were almost touching hers, she whispered the words and then sighed as his lips captured hers in a heated kiss. They only pulled away when Nathalie yelled happily from the porch.
“I thought you had to be out of here by a certain time! You just wanna test the speed of that, don’t you?”
Chuckling, Sid grabbed her bag and put it in the cargo trunk. She noticed that all of the presents were already placed in there. But she had put everything in her car last this morning. How did he find the time? He’s been with me all morning.
She opened the driver’s side door and let out a laugh. Seat covers, floor mats, a steering wheel cover and dice… all in a Penguins theme. Maybe it was corny, but she loved that he’d bought them. After settling into the seats, he leaned over and pressed the power button on the console.
“Christmas music for the drive up?”
“I only have my iPod because I figured tha…”
She stopped talking as Sid smiled and pulled a cable out of the glove compartment and plugged one end into the media console. Then he held out his hand for her iPod. Shaking her head again, she pointed to the back seat where her purse was sitting.
As she pulled out of the Lemieux’s drive, Mel got a feel for her new vehicle. Only Sid would think that a GMC Denali was an appropriate Christmas present. And even though she’d initially thought something this big would be showy… she had to admit that she loved it.
The two hour drive was filled with lots of singing and laughing. And when they pulled into the driveway of the farmhouse, Mel couldn’t help but feel a pang of remorse that she hadn’t really made it up a lot this year. There were cars parked everywhere, most of the family already there.
She parked and, after taking a deep breath, grabbed a box of the presents and led Sid up the wide front porch steps. She could hear laughter and talking through the doors and she placed the box on the wooden floor and was about to knock when the door swung open and her uncle pulled her into a big bear hug.
Mel blinked back tears as she hugged the older man enthusiastically. The deep, rough timbre of his voice sounded like the sweetest melody as he told her Merry Christmas. He smelled like a cross between a barn and apple pie. And the way his thick mustache tickled as he kissed her cheek brought back memories of previous Christmas Eve nights spent here.
“I’m so glad you could make it again this year Melany. Wouldn’t have been the same without ya kiddo. And who is this young man? Where’s Johnny Boy?”
Mel stepped back and made the introductions quickly. She left out any mention of John though… she’d tell them all later. Her uncle ushered them into the house and Mel hurried to put the presents under the tree as she heard his booming voice say that it was now time to eat, since everyone was here.
“I told you we would be late,” she whispered to him. Sid just chuckled as he followed behind her.
Smiling, he poked her in the side as they made their way to the dining room. It was, as Mel had stated on the drive up, a classic farm house. Kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom on the bottom floor. Four bedrooms and a bathroom on the top floor. Big attic and a wrap-around porch. The table in the dining room was even bigger than the one she had back home and Sid realized now that having a lot of people around the table was a comfort for her.
Note to self, have more dinners and stuff at Mel’s in the future.
Sid sat down in the seat Mel pointed at, a spot between both her and her mother. He watched her walk over to an older lady who was getting ready to sit down at one of the heads of the table. She spoke quickly and Sid watched the sorrow flash over the woman’s face before she pasted on a smile and nodded. As Mel made her way back over to him, Sid laced his fingers through hers, bringing them up and kissing her knuckles.
“Yeah, I just wanted to make sure my grandmother remembered to pray for something a little extra before we ate.”
He nodded and watched how the family quieted down when the older woman stood up.
“Let’s bow our heads in a quick prayer before we eat. Lord, thank you for bringing us all together for yet another Christmas Eve dinner at my son’s. We give thanks that everyone made the trip safely and that they could all be here to celebrate together. We thank you for the time that you let others spend with us here on earth and we know they now watch over us from heaven. And tonight… tonight we ask a special prayer, please keep out men and women in the military safe. Let them come home swiftly and safely. Let John do his duty and stay out of harm’s way while he’s deployed in a land far away.”
Sid squeezed Mel’s hand and felt her give a small squeeze back. He hadn’t realized how hard this was for her. She hadn’t mentioned anything about being nervous or concerned. And he felt like an ass for not noticing. Or at least, for not realizing what she was upset about. No one could miss the anger recently.
Dinner was fabulous. It seemed like all the women in her family were cooking whizzes. Sid know he was going to have to do some extra work outs the next time he was at the arena. But he couldn’t stop himself.
After the meal was done, and the dishes were either in the dishwasher, or scraped off and ready to be loaded next, the group congregated into the living room. Mel told him to find a seat somewhere and she’d be by him once they were done passing out presents. He quirked an eyebrow and her uncle explained that the ‘kids’ always passed out the presents.
“So, even though they’re all in their twenties, they’re the kids still?”
“Yep. At least until Walter and Jr. over there get old enough to carry things to people!”
Sid laughed as he glanced at the little boy. He was blonde as blonde could be, and, according to his mother, ornery as hell. Currently, he was sitting in his mom’s lap, his little chubby fingers drumming lightly on her swollen belly. Mel would look gorgeous if she was pre… stop that!
He shook his head and watched, amused, as she and her cousins passed out gifts, making piles where necessary. In the end, there were multiple packages sitting in front of him. Most were addressed to Mel, but a few had both their names written on them and there were even two that were for just him. When everything was dished out to the correct people, Sid slid over a bit more, giving her room to settle down comfortably beside him.
“Is there a method to this madness,” he asked a moment later when people were ripping paper like crazy, crumbling it up into balls and throwing it at one another. He was so stunned in the beginning that when he got hit smack dab in the forehead, he could do nothing but blink.
“Is there really a method to any sort of madness?”
“Point taken. Why aren’t you opening your presents?”
“I like to watch their faces as they open each gift. It’s so great to see the smiles as they see what someone bought them.”
“Well, I think you should open this one. I hear the buyer saw this and knew, instantly, that it was perfect for you.”
Handing her the necklace, Sid leaned back and waited for her to open it. She carefully opened both ends of the gift wrap, then the long line, unfolding the paper and holding the jewelry box in her hand. Then, as Mel opened the lid, Sid heard the intake of breath as her hand flew up to her mouth.
“Sid… it’s beautiful!”
“I saw it and thought that it was the perfect present for you.”
“Where on earth did you find it? I love it!”
“When we were in Florida… saw this eclectic jewelry shop near the beach. Like I said, it’s you.”
She grabbed his face, her lips moving over his. Then she smiled and pulled back before something could get out of control. Sid didn’t know whether to be happy or pout. But she’d promised him quality make-out time in front of the fire before they went to bed… so he was content with her sweet torture for now.
“Open the present from me.”
Sid picked up the gift with her writing on it. it was small, not completely flat. Kind of reminded him of a flattened shoe box. He tore through the wrapping paper and then ripped the lid off. Peeling back the two pieces of tissue paper, he pulled out a passport.
“What is this?”
Flipping the cover over, Sid saw her photo. Okay, I knew she had a passport. What gives? He tilted his head, not following along.
“Look a little closer babe.”
He skimmed the image and the wording. He was about to ask again what she was talking about when he noticed the ‘Country of origin’ section. It said Canada.
“What does this mean?”
“I now have dual citizenship.”
Dual citizenship. That means no crazy paperwork to fill out after I propose! Wait is that why she did it? Does she know about the ring?
Mel watched Sid’s face as he looked at her passport. The confused expression disappeared and his eyes practically lit up. But then she saw his brows knit together and he looked at her.
“You’re now Canadian and American?”
“I am. You know what that means?”
“It… ummm… it means that… no, what does it mean?”
Sighing, she explained, unsure of how he could not see the benefit to this.
“Now, in February, when you’re playing in the Olympics, I don’t feel like a traitor when I cheer for Canada! Duh!!”
“Olympics… Canada... Ooooh!”
“What did you think I meant?”
“I-I dunno. But now it makes sense,” he laughed as he pulled her close. She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder, inhaling the scent of Sid and Christmas.
It’s a very potent combination of smells. I wonder if he can be quiet on an air mattress.
The rest of the presents were opened. She could tell he was surprised and excited to open gifts from her family labeled for the two of them. And he laughed when he opened the package from her cousins that was specifically for him.
Inside the beautifully wrapped box had been American flag boxer shorts, a baseball, a recipe for apple pie and a roll of duct tape. Sid held the tape up. Mel groaned.
“I get the rest of the gifts, you’re trying to Americanize me… but what gives with the tape??”
“You’ve been with her for eight months and haven’t wanted to tape her mouth shut yet?! You’ve got a high tolerance for her constant chatter, don’t you?”
Mel growled and chucked a wad of wrapping paper at her cousin’s head. She should’ve known that James would be behind that. Her family launched into a series of hilarious family stories… all relating to her and her inability to keep her mouth shut.
“You know, this isn’t nice to do to you—“
“Shhhh,” Sid said. “Don’t make me use that tape. You got to hear all kinds of stories during my Cup day. I wanna hear more about you.”
“Bah… fine. Can we go get cookies and beverages first? This could end up being a long night, and I’m still hungry!”
Everyone migrated to the kitchen and dining room for coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and other desserts before returning to the living room and settling down for story time. It was about an hour later when Mel slid out of Sid’s arms and into the other room where her purse was. Coming back a second later, she held up an old VHS tape in her hand.
“I forgot! I brought this tape for us to watch, before we put in the Grinch! I found it the other day when I was sorting through a few boxes. I think it’s something you’ll all enjoy.”
Tossing the tape to her uncle, she snuggled back into Sid’s arms, leaning back against his chest and snatching one of the quilts from the pile in the corner. The tape started and her heart clenched as the camera wobbled slightly before panning around the room.
Mel nodded at James. This video was the last Christmas that everyone had been home for. It was over fifteen years ago. She had been five or six. As the video played, Mel found herself smiling and laughing, and tearing up when the camera had focused on her grandfather.
Glancing around the room, she saw everyone else staring at the screen as well. He had passed away probably ten years after that video was shot. 2002. Seven years ago. And yet, watching him smile and make faces at the camera, it felt like yesterday.
Stifling a sob, Mel turned some and buried her face in Sid’s chest as the tears ran down her cheeks. She heard a couple other sniffles and felt Sid’s hand rubbing gently up and down the middle of her back. It was still such a fresh wound in the center of her heart. The man who had been more of a father than grandfather… had been practically the center of her world… hearing his laughter was a blessing and a curse.
“I’m sorry you lost him babe. Just watching this makes me think he would’ve been an amazing man to meet.”
Sid had whispered the words into her hair but she heard them. Turning to look up at him, her eyes no doubt shimmering with the few tears that hadn’t fallen, she managed a wobbly smile.
“You would’ve loved him. And he would’ve loved you too.”
She closed her eyes as his thumb swiped away the wetness on her cheeks and then he bent down to kiss her forehead. Taking a deep breath, she twisted back into her previous position and watched the rest of the video. When it was over, she held it to her chest throughout the cartoon Grinch movie. No Christmas Eve dinner was complete without the original Grinch.
It was only eight o’clock when the movie ended, but as the chorus of ‘Bah Who Bores’ rang through the speakers of the television Mel found herself yawning. Since they were driving back down to Mario’s for a Christmas brunch with a bunch of the guys she wasn’t at all perturbed when everyone suggested calling it a night. Or at least decided to go up to the bedrooms.
“Alright mom. Text me when you get home okay? And tomorrow you get to see my new car!! He actually bought me a friggin’ car! Can you believe that?!”
“Who do you think told him to get the Pens mats and the shimmery gold version??”
“Ha ha! I love you! See you at Mario’s!”
She kissed her mom and grandma goodbye, they were going back home tonight, and then went through the ritual of hugging and kissing everyone else who was staying. Her aunt and uncle asked once more if they were sure they didn’t mind sleeping in the living room. All her cousin’s had called dibbs on their old bedrooms, and the attic was too chilly.
“Really, we’ll be comfy down here by the fireplace. Did James bring the air mattress with him like I asked?”
“Right here,” her cousin shouted as he tossed the boxed up mattress at Sid and then the electric air pump landed in her hands.
“Well, if your sure. You know we would love to see you in the morning. It’s been so long since everyone has been back home together on Christmas morning! And, even though I’m sure there will be plenty of food, I’m sending you home a ‘care package’ and I won’t take no for an answer!”
Mel was still laughing as she and Sid changed into their pajamas. He was filling up their bed when she propped herself against the doorway to the living room. Staring at him, she felt that now familiar ache the lined her lower belly as she watched him stretch, his stomach visible as his arms came over his head. When he turned her way, she licked her lips.
How is it possible that she looks so good in monkey flannel pants and a thermal, long-sleeved shirt?
Sid stared as Melany ran her tongue over her lower lip. He was sure she moved quickly, but he felt like he saw the movement in slow motion. She’d curled her hair today and it now fell in loose waves, the light from the fire bringing out brilliant red highlights. He was so transfixed that he had to blink and ask her to repeat herself when he finally realized that she was talking.
“I said, you better watch that thing closely. If it gets too big, it’ll burst.”
I’ll show you something that bursts when it’s too big.
As the thought crossed his mind, he felt his cock start to stiffen. And there was no way he’d be able to hide an erection behind the soft material of his plaid pants. He wondered how she felt about sex at her relative’s…
Sid cut off that train of thought and cut off the pump, shutting the cap on the mattress. He placed a few more big logs on the fire and shut the wire gate before crossing over to where Mel was still standing. He pushed her flat against the doorway and buried his face in her neck, breathing in her scent and smiling as her silky tresses brushed against his cheek. He nibbled on her neck before trailing kisses up to her ear.
“You smell wonderful. You taste wonderful. Like pie. Did you slather it onto your skin or something?”
“No, you dork! Stop drooling on me like I was a piece of pie! Go finish getting ready, I’ll make the bed.”
He laughed and pushed himself away from her, walking into the bathroom and shutting the door. As he listened to her quiet movements, he drew in a few deep breaths. He wanted her. Now. He needed to have her softness against him, hear her breathy little moans as he pushed deep inside her, feel her nails dig into his arms or back as she came for him.
Giving her another minutes, he hoped that she was serious about ‘make-out time’ by the fire because he was burning up. Brushing his teeth quickly, he ran a hand through his hair and then turned off the light as he stepped into the hallway and turned into the room.
There, in the middle of the airbed, was Melany. She had put sheets on the mattress, along with the pillows they’d brought, and a few quilts. She must’ve been under all the blankets, and she had thrown back the top few because as she sat there, the only thing she held up against her body was a snowflake patterned flannel sheet.
Why is she holding a blanket up?
The answer came quickly when she lifted her arm to tuck her hair behind her ear. An arm that, instead of being encased in thermal material, was bare. He audibly swallowed and pulled at the neck of his own shirt. Seemed to be an answer to the question he’d asked himself earlier. Padding quietly across the floor, Sid took notice of the shirt and pants that were lying on the arm of the rocking chair near her side of the bed.
Pulling his shirt over his head, Sid dropped it beside the air mattress. He grabbed the sheet and tugged it away with a grin, expecting to see her nakedness. Instead, she wore a red satin and lace strapless masterpiece. The material opened down the middle and he could see matching red boy shorts. A ribbon, and probably a hidden clasp, held the fabric together at her breasts.
“Is this another present for me to unwrap?”
She didn’t answer him, just crooked a finger for him to join her. He dropped his pajama pants and watched as she licked her lips. Sitting down on the side of the bed, Sid twisted toward her and reached out, pulling the ends of the bow. A silver clasp appeared and he popped it open. The material fell away and as it dropped to the bed he pushed her shoulders back. Sliding alongside her body, Sid shivered as her smooth skin brushed against him.
“Are you cold Sidney,” she purred as she opened her arms to him.
His lips came crashing down on hers. One of her hands moved up his side, her fingertips tickling his ribs before curling in his hair. One of them moaned. He wasn’t sure who it was. His tongue dueled with hers, her breasts pressed against his chest.
Sid, fueled by her desire and his, pushed his hand under her panties, feeling how ready she was for him. lifting his hips, he pulled last barrier down her legs before covering her once more and sliding himself home.
“God Melany, you undo me…”
Feeling her legs come up and wrap around his hips, Sid growled out her name again and lost himself inside her willing body. He pushed deep, pulled her hips up to his, listened to her sharp intake of breath each time.
They moved together at the leisurely pace, neither in a hurry. For once, they had all night to be with one another, without worrying that he’d be tired for a game tomorrow, or that she’d have to get up early for school. It seemed like the first time, since summer, that nothing was there in the background.
Sid brought his hand up, running it through her hair, spilling it over the pillow as he pressed deeper, and the bounce of the mattress shoving her back up at him. He traced over the lines of her face. He kissed every inch, her lips, nose, eyelids… he nipped at her chin, cradled her head in his hands.
He started to thrust faster, still not frenzied though, and he heard her gasp. She tightened around him, sweet contractions that showed him how this time together was affecting her. She begged him to go faster, give it to her harder, but he ignored her requests.
If anything, he slowed down again. Each movement calculated. His thumb was drawing circles over her clit and he listened as her breathing grew shallow, her cries of passion became sharper and her nails dug deeper into his flesh.
She told him how close she was, how much this slow burn was driving her crazy. He changed the movement of his thumb, making tiny figure eights now. She jerked against him and Sid brought his mouth down on her quickly when she opened her mouth to cry out.
“Shhhh,” he whispered against her lips. “Don’t wanna get in trouble, do you?”
The sweet torture was getting to him now as well. Feeling her body getting ready for that final release only served to push him to drive her into oblivion before he found his own release. He buried his face in the crook of her neck and started moving hard, punishing her body with deep, brutal thrusts that had her biting his shoulder to keep from waking the rest of the people in the house.
“Fuck, you feel so good.”
“Sidney… please… Oh god please…”
Tweaking her pleasure button, Sid felt her entire body go taut and he covered her mouth with his other hand as she screamed into his palm. Her fingers clutched his shoulders, definitely hard enough to leaves marks and probably even drawing blood, and then she had her arms wrapped around his neck.
She held onto him with her arms and legs. Sid shoved himself as deep as he could and roared against her neck as quietly as possible. His teeth sunk into her skin, his fingers gripping her hips tightly.
He collapsed on top of her. Part of him was concerned about moving, the other part refused to ever leave the sweet depths of her body. She was running her fingers over his back and since the blankets had fallen away the sheen of sweat on his body was cooled quickly and her actions only made him shiver.
He chuckled as she poked him in the side to make him lift his sated body off of hers. Then she sprinted into the bathroom, grabbing her clothes off the chair as she ran as fast as she could from the bed to the bathroom.
She returned quickly, clothed now sadly, and handed him a warm washcloth to clean up with. He threw his clothes back on as well and was already under the covers when she came out of the bathroom that final time. He tucked her against him, pulling all the blankets over them and sighing with happiness as she lay against him, her cheek resting on his chest.
She was humming Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas as he drifted to sleep, her voice like a sweet lullaby.
The drive to Mario’s was filled with more Christmas music, but they were both quiet. Mel smiled to herself, recalling the tender yet powerful way Sid had been with her the night before. Her body was still aching in certain spots and she reveled in it.
She had just turned off the exit ramp and headed back to Sewickley when Sid grabbed her free hand. She glanced at him, smiling for what had to be the millionth time since she woke up, and he just smiled as well.
And I still have a surprise in store for him.
He didn’t think his family was coming in this Christmas. Trina had told him that they couldn’t get Taylor away from school and hockey, commitments that she had made, yadda yadda yadda…But she had set everything up so that they would be there when the two of them pulled in at Mario’s.
Turning into the driveway, Mel beeped her horn a couple times, giving them the heads up that she’d promised. There were cars everywhere. Most of the guys were coming for brunch. She had left things for Nathalie to whip up as a contribution. Even after hearing repeatedly that she didn’t need to help…
“I think we should take our bags up to your room and then come back down to see everyone.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
He grabbed both bags and Mel fetched the big bag of their gifts. They made it up to his room without any interruptions and she took a moment to freshen up, changing into a more appropriate outfit than a pair of his warm-up sweats and Reebok shirt. Comfort of cuteness while driving, but to see the family and everyone, cuteness was a must.
She dressed quickly and then they walked down the steps. She was wondering how she was going to surprise him with his family when the need was taken away. They had just reached the bottom of the staircase when Austin came barreling through the foyer, Taylor hot on his heels.
Mel leaned against the wall as Sid ran and grabbed his little sister in a hug, twirling her off the ground and around in circles. They were both giggling like teenage girls when he set her down and turned toward her. His parents came in from the living room and Mel smiled as the small family was reunited on Christmas.
“What are you guys doing here?? I thought that you couldn’t make it!!”
Troy laughed and stepped away from his son. Mel watched him, the pride in his eyes, as he stared at his wife and kids.
“Well, Taylor is probably going to have to play extremely hard when she gets back, but… we figured it was worth it to get to be together for Christmas. And she’s got all her assignments and a ‘tutor’ per say while we’re here for the week, isn’t that right Melany?”
“A week, that’s great! Mel, isn’t that great??” She was too happy for him to actually say anything so she just nodded. Sid stared at her, then his parents, and then back to her again. “You did this, didn’t you?”
“You deserved to be with your family on Christmas Sidney.”
He crossed over to where she was still planted by the wall and pulled her against him, his mouth covering hers in a possessive kiss. She heard Trina laugh, Taylor made a gagging noise, and somewhere in the background Max was cursing in French… probably playing pool with Geno again… but nothing mattered except for the man in front of her.
“Thank you. This is one of the best things you could’ve done for me. I love you.”
“I love you so much, I just… I wanted to make sure our first Christmas was a good one.”
Her phone rang then, and figuring it was her mom asking once again how to get here, she didn’t even look at the caller ID.
“Seriously Mom… I’m getting you a GPS system so you don’t keep asking me whi--”
“Jess?! Hey! Merry Christmas chica! I planned on making happy phone calls later, you beat me to it! How are yo--”
“John’s coming home.”
“What?? That’s GREAT! When does he get in?!”
“He’s… there was a skirmish outside the base… he was…”
Mel felt her legs give out and she dropped to the floor. Sid was there in an instant. She knew that they were all looking at her with concern. She realized that she was crying, but the tears couldn’t be stopped. Her one fear about Johnny was that he’d die so far away from home. She found her voice.
“Jess… JESSICA… he’s not… please tell me he’s no--”
“He’s been in surgery three times. The only thing I know is that he’s alive. I-I know it’s Christmas and you’re probably enjo--”
“Do you need anything? Anything at all?!”
She would drive straight to D.C. right now if Jess asked her to. Sid was rubbing her back, Trina came in from somewhere with a glass of water and she heard Sid filling them in on who John was and what he did.
“No, I’m good. I just felt like you of all people should know as soon as I did. I’m sorry for ruining your morn--”
“Don’t be. God, I’m so sorry Jess.”
“He’s alive Mel. That’s all I can think about. I don’t care what happens, as long as he stays alive!”
“And he will. He won’t die on you. He knows that you’d be too pissed off at him if he died. Like he’d risk your angry wrath,” Mel chuckled, getting a small laugh from Jess as well. “Listen, anything you need… I’m serious. Name it.”
“I’m home for the holidays. I’m flying back to Washington tomorrow. He’s in Germany right now. Once he’s stable he’ll be shipped back here.”
“Go be with your family hun. They’ll help you right now, I know it. Tell your dad to give you a great big hug from me, okay?”
“Roger that. I’m sorry again for calling you like this.”
“Stop apologizing Jessica. I’d be more upset if you had waited, and you know it! Call me anytime, day or night, got it?!”
“I will. Tell Sid hi and have him make your day brighter… I’ll be in touch.”
“You better be! Talk to you soon.”
Jess said her goodbye and Mel hit END and took a deep breath. The tears she was afraid would fall didn’t come. She realized that she was too angry for them to fall. Angry at John for being over there again, angry at the government for making this war necessary, angry at God for allowing her friend to be wounded.
“Talk to me babe.”
“He’s not dead. That’s all I know. That and he’s in Germany waiting to be brought home to the US. And they’ll transfer him once he’s stable enough. What if something else goes wrong?”
“Shhhh, he’s going to come home and heal and be fine. You won’t let him be anything less than whole again. I know you.”
She let out a laugh and broke down again. At least this time it wasn’t gut-wrenching sobs. Sid simply held her, the two of them alone in the middle of the floor. She knew that everyone was staying away on purpose, and she was grateful that they were giving her time to get it out now.
Sid pulled her into his lap more and just rocked her back and forth, smoothing her hair out of her eyes, whispering calming words as he sat with her. She took a few deep breaths and leaned away from him.
“I seem to be falling apart on you a lot in the last twenty four hours.”
“And both times, and any time in the future, I’ll be here to try and make it better. I might not always be able to be here in person to hold you, but I’ll do my best to take away the pain. You understand that, right?”
“M’hmm, I do. You’re amazing.”
“Ha, I’m just holding you. You’re the amazing one. You’re so brave and strong right now. You could be falling apart, but you’re not.”
“What do you call this then?”
“a defensive breakdown. We have those from time to time on the ice, but then we bounce right back. You’re like that. You don’t give up, don’t stop when you’re down.”
“you and the hockey analogies,” Mel said with a giggle. She stood and wiped at her eyes. Sid brushed a stray tear from her eye.
“Wanna go join the group?”
“I’d like that. I’m kind of starving!”
A week later Sid was sitting with some of the guys and their girlfriends. They were watching the Winter Classic at Max’s. Pregame stuff was on right now. He had his phone in his hand, waiting to hear from Mel. Erin came and sat down beside him.
“What time does Mel get into DC?”
“The plane should be landing about now. I told her to text or call once she met up with Jess. Should be hearing from her any minute now.”
John came home the day before. Two cracked ribs, a broken leg, torn ligaments in his shoulder, shrapnel in his back and a bullet to the chest should’ve taken down a weaker man. But from what she told him before she left this morning, John was going to come through all of this and make a full recovery.
His phone buzzed in his hand.
Made it safely. Riding with Jess to the hospital. Will call later. Love you!
He typed back and settled in to watch the game. Philly tried, they really did. It took until OT, but Boston wouldn’t be denied. They promised to reveal the USA line-up for the Olympics after the final buzzer. Brooks hadn’t received a call yet, and Sid felt bad.
The man was a great defenseman, a great player. He deserved to play. They were all sitting and watching the screen when NBC came back on. The announcer started naming people. He heard them call out Bugsy and smiled. It would be fun to go against him.
Sid had gotten the call on the 30th, so he knew that he’d be playing. Mel had told him it was a given, and he had figured as well, but nothing is ever a sure thing. Geno was playing for Russia, along with Gonch. Flower had gotten the call as well.
“From the Pittsburgh Penguins, number 44, Brooks Orpik!”
Amanda screamed, Max shot up and yelled ‘YESSSSS!’ and Brooks sat there, mouth open and eyes wide.
“Congratulations man! Looks like we’ll all be up against one another. Vancouver is going to be great.”
Sid wondered if anything he’d said got through to Brooks. He was sitting there with a stupid grin on his face. Sid couldn’t blame him though. That was the same face he’d made when he got the nod. That meant there were five of them going to the Games. It was going to be an amazing experience.
His phone buzzed again.
Tell Brooks congrats and that he’s going down! John says if you beat America he’s going to beat you! Love you!
If he was saying that, then he seriously would be okay. Sid let out the deep breath that he’d been holding since Christmas when Mel had collapsed in his arms. Olympic teams had been chosen, John was going to survive his war injuries… Things were looking up. Now they just needed to keep up the wins.