Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chapter 41: Another Run at Glory

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


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

“Fucking Ottawa bastards.”

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mature Mrs. Malkin. Very mature.”

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

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

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


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

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

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

“Yeah Coach?”

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

“Yeah Coach.”

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

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

“You suck. I don’t think I like you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Long night, eh Captain?”


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

“Gotta be there at eleven.”

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

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


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

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

“Top,” he said into the pillows.

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

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

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

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

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

“Doing some housework for me, cousin?”

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

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

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

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

“Me personally?”

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

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

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


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

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

“Oh sonofa…”

“You got your call Doofy.”

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

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

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

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

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

Two down, one to go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s far from over.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Wake up sleepy head.”



“Not hungry.”


“I’m clean enough.”

“Wedding stuff?”


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

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

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

“What else is left?”

“Who’s your best man?”


“Does he know yet?”

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

“Why? He’s going to be so excited!”

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

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

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

“Fine, I will go call him right now.”

“No need.”


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

“What? Why?!”

“He’s helping me with my vows.”

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

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

“Ugh… I’m calling Flower then!”

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

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

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

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

Chapter 40: Laying Down the Foundation

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


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

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

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

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

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

“Hey there stranger.”

“Hi to you too.”

“All done at practice already?”

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

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

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

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

“Whoa! What in the…”

“Lookin’ for a good time sugar?”

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

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

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

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

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

He had his own house now.

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

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

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

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

“Give me some credit here Sid…”

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

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


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

“Thinking about tomorrow night?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

“Does that mean you’re saying yes??”

“Yes! I’d love to!”

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

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

“I did!”

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

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

“I’m moving in with Brent!”


“Oh, that’s so great!”

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

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

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

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

“You want me checking out your cousin?!”

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

“You hired Nathalie??”

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

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

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

“June 12.”

“Are you serious?”

“Damn straight.”

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know. It’s way too much room!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I hope he likes this.

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

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

“Hey there stud, see anything you like?”

“When did this come in?”

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

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

“I’ll buy you a new bra…”

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

“Too much time.”

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

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

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

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

He actually yelped.

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

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

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

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

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

“Dinner will be done soon.”

“I’m famished.”

“Fries will be don…”

“I’m hungry now.”

“Right now?”

“Right now.”

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

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

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

“Sid… Sid… Sidney!”

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“But I want…”

He dropped the briefs.

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


“Me. You want me.”

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

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

“Tell me.”

“I want you,” she breathed out.

“Only me.”

“Only you.”



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

“Well, what’s it say?”

“Yours first.”

“Ugh… men…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“As a rock.”

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


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

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

“Hey, earth to Mel?”


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

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

“Sid? I don’t follow.”

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

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

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

“Have you told Sid yet?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He was seriously wounded you know.”

“Yeah, I know... but…”

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

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

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

“Long time no hear…”

“I know Johnny… I know. How are you?”

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

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

“What’s shakin’ bacon?”

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

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Good.. it’s going to be in June.”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You don’t know what it’s like!”

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

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

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

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

“It’s best this way Kid.”

“Fine. I’ll see you… sometime.”

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

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

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