The final chapter!!
Eerrrrrr! Eerrrrrrrr! Eeerrrrrrr! Wake up babe! Is the sun shining through our windows? Did you miss me last night?
Sid read the message again. His smile was stupid. He knew that. But it refused to leave his face. Our windows. They’d been in the house how long now, and that was probably the first time he’d ever heard her use the term ours. He felt giddy. It was like the Cup day. His hands were shaking and he felt a little dizzy.
“I’m getting married today.”
It sounded good coming from his lips. He chuckled and finally dragged himself out of bed. Turning to look in the mirror, he noticed the sticky note attached to it. Bright yellow. Hard to miss. Walking over, he peeled it off and read it.
I knew you’d stretch and then look this way. Good morning Sidney. Today’s our big day, are you excited?
Sid smiled and wondered how she’d managed to get that there, since she was over at Erin and Geno’s last night. Walking into the bathroom, he saw another note on the shower door.
Gonna get all squeaky clean for me babe? I love going down on you in the shower, have I ever told you that? The water running down your body, your hands in my hair… Can’t wait to smell your freshly scrubbed body. I may lick you.
He gulped and had difficulty getting his shorts down over his suddenly growing member. He could hear Mel’s voice. She would be teasing him with that tone that was too loud for a whisper, but low enough that she almost couldn’t be heard over the stream of water. She’d tease him while running her fingers down his chest. She loved to do that. The torment would continue while she dropped to her knees.
Sid groaned and reached down, taking care of some urgent business before actually taking his shower. He hoped that when she woke up this morning she was plagued by dreams of him. That she would try to find release but, like him, would only be partially sated with the use of her own fingers. After wrapping the towel around his waist, he walked out to the closet to grab something comfy to wear until he changed into his tux at Mario’s.
There was no note on the closet door. Slightly miffed that she’d stopped at two, Sid moved hangers to the left and right, looking for that white button down from Mexico. It wasn’t supposed to be really hot out today, but the material was loose and comfortable. When he saw the sleeve he pushed the other shirts away and laughed. There, on the hanger, was another sticky note.
If you found this one, great minds think alike. Maybe you shouldn’t wear this today though. Maybe you should save it for our honeymoon. Where are we going anyway? Why won’t you tell me these things? How am I supposed to pack tomorrow?! Jerkface*
She’d been bugging him for the past ten days. It was harder and harder to hide the destination from her. But he was doing everything he could to keep this an actual secret. He’d even taken all of the books and maps that he’d bought over to Mario’s house so that… FUCK! Grabbing his shirt, he ran over and picked up his phone, dialing the number for the Lemieux house quicker than he ever had before. Nathalie picked up on the second ring.
“Good morning Sidney! Are you going to be heading over soon? Do we need to sequester your bride in the…”
“Nat! Did anyone think to hide the honeymoon stuff?!”
“I did. I put it in the safe. That girl has been asking everyone, looking everywhere. It was the one place I knew for sure she couldn’t get into.”
“You’re my savior Nathalie.”
“Just bring me back something from… Melany! Go away! Yes it’s Sid and no, I will not tell you where he’s taking you!”
Sid laughed loudly. He could picture Mel’s face right now. It would be a mixture of a pout, anger and frustration. He told Nat to tell his soon-to-be wife that he loved her and he couldn’t wait to see her before hanging up and getting dressed. He went downstairs and opened the fridge to grab something to eat. There were sticky notes on everything!
Don’t eat me!
I think I’ve gone bad.
Not for your wedding day breakfast.
Why do we even have this?!
Stop searching and call Max.
Seriously, Max is taking you to breakfast.
Why do you keep reading these?
I love you, now call him!
Reaching into the pocket of his jeans, he pulled out his phone and waited for Max to answer.
“Allo mon ami. Are you ready to go to breakfast?”
“I suppose I am. Want me to drive over?”
“Nope, just come outside. We’re waiting.”
“You’re wait... what?!”
Grabbing his wallet off the coffee table, he jogged to the door and flung it wide. There, in the convertible, were Max and Flower. He shook his head and locked the door before walking down and hopping into the back of the car.
“How long have you guys been sitting in my driveway?”
“Not long… twenty minutes maybe.”
“Why the hell didn’t you call me, I’d have let you in!”
“That would’ve ruined Mel’s notes,” Max said with a look that said DUH! And Sid just laughed. They headed out, stopping long enough to pick up Geno, and drove to Robinson.
As they pulled into the Cracker Barrel Sid smiled as he saw some of the guys standing at their cars. Sid looked at all of them, giving them that Captain ‘What is this?’ look that was usually reserved for locker room pranks. Max spoke up for the group.
“Well, you and Mel were boring and didn’t want to have parties, so this is our way of all seeing you before you take the plunge! Plus, you’re a nerd and love their breakfast.”
Sitting at the center island in the Lemieux kitchen and pushing the rest of her French toast around on the plate, Mel wondered if Sid was enjoying his ‘boys day out’ breakfast.
“Hey, why haven’t you finished that,” Tori asked as she pointed her fork at the syrupy mass on the plate.
“Are you kidding me Tori?? This is like the third plate of food that you’ve put in front of me. I’m marrying a hockey player, not becoming one!”
The two laughed, and they were still at it when Lynne, Trina and Nathalie came into the kitchen. The three looked at them before grabbing the orange juice and just walking back out, all smiling. Then there was a knock at the back door and Mel calmed herself down long enough to go over and open it, letting a very large, very pregnant Erin in.
“I swear woman, you are literally going to pop!”
“Please don’t remind me. I have two more weeks until my due date. I don’t know how I’m going to make it. Seriously. Don’t let Sid talk you into children. Not unless he’s going to be a surrogate and carry said child for you. I hate Geno.”
“Liar. You are so excited about this baby! You love Geno, and we all know it!”
Erin smiled and put a hand over her swollen belly.
“Maybe. Now, where are Vero and Amanda? I thought that they were going to be here early as well?”
Mel snorted into her glass of juice.
“You know Amanda. She’s probably just now getting up. And Vero is probably wanting to murder her! The ladies are getting here to do our hair at 1p.m., so I don’t expect them here for another hour or so. Besides, the only ones they have to twist and prod are you and me. The rest of my lovely lady friends are only getting things done if they want.”
The three of them were sitting there five minutes later when Amanda and Vero burst through the back door with garment bags, shoe boxes and cosmetic bags.
“It was not my fault this time! Frenchie over here slept in!”
“It’s true. I did! But in my defense… I was kept up until the early morning hours!”
“Doing what,” Mel asked. Vero turned an adorable shade of red and mumbled something in French. She didn’t understand it, but heard the word Marc and Erin, who did know some of the language, gasped. “Never mind V, I don’t think I want to know! And don’t worry, you aren’t late at all. Here, have some food. Tori thinks we’re all hockey players and made an extreme amount of food this morning with Nathalie.”
After polishing off some more of the food that was on the island, the girls went into the living room to relax and prepare for the insanity that was going to ensue in just a few hours. When the hair stylist arrived and whisked Mel into one of the bathrooms… that was when the nerves started. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to marry Sid. She did. She wanted that more than anything. But then the doubts came. By the time her hair was piled on top of her head and she was sitting in Sid’s old room, the dress room for the day, Mel found herself practically hyperventilating in her corset and sweatpants.
What if I can’t handle this? What if he ends up wanting someone else? Why did I ever agree to dinner with him? Was his dad right? I. Can’t. Breathe.
She heard a knock at the door and let out a strangled sound that was supposed to be ‘Come on in’ and when Erin bustled through the door, Mel felt the tears prick her eyes. Erin was already in her dress. And she looked beautiful. The color was perfect. And the cut of the dress… she looked…
“God, you look radiant!”
“I look like a whale.”
“Fuck off. You’re so beautiful. And the way that dress fits, you look pregnant, but you don’t… does that make sense?”
“None,” Erin laughed. “And I’m supposed to be telling you that you look beautiful! So let’s get you into that dress so that I can tell you… Mel? What’s wrong?”
“What if I’m not enough?”
“He’s Sidney Crosby Erin. What if I’m not enough?”
“Are you kidding me?! You are the best thing that’s ever happened to him. I know. I can tell. And don’t give me that ‘you didn’t know him before we met’ schtick. That man is in for the long haul. And he loves you. I’ve seen the vows. No one says the things he says and doesn’t wanna be with you for the rest of his life.”
“You’ve seen the vows?? Are they better than mine?”
“Yes. Yours suck in comparison… I’m kidding! His are perfect. Yours are perfect. You guys make me wanna barf. Or go into labor during the ceremony to ruin how perfect it will be. Now, can you please stop freaking out and let me help you get dressed?”
Mel laughed and sniffled once before nodding her head. They were getting the dress out of the bag when there was another knock at the door. Erin went over to open it and Mel heard her gasp. Turning, she let out a cry and broke out into a run. There, decked out in his dress blues, was John. Mindful of his healing body, she wrapped her arms around his waist and held onto him like he was her only life line.
“What are you… how did… Look at you!”
“I couldn’t just let you get married without me, now could I?”
“You don’t know how bad I wished that you would make it. I needed you here with me for this.”
“You didn’t need me Kid.”
“I did. I do. And now… now I don’t have to walk myself down the aisle.”
She felt him tense up and for a split second she was worried that he would tell her no. But when she looked up at him, that fierce look of determination was on his face and he nodded.
“I may have to use you as a crutch as we go. And please tell me we don’t have to walk fast!”
Sid stood in Mario’s study. His jacket was hanging over the back of one of the chairs and he had a highball of whiskey in his hand. He prayed that sending John up to Mel was the right thing to do.
He remembered the phone call after the game. The one where she’s cried her heart out because he said he wouldn’t be making the trek with his wife. And then, two days ago, Sid had been sitting on the front porch when a black SUV pulled in the drive. His eyes had lit up when John and Jess popped out and made their way up the drive. He had apologized and made Sid promise not to tell Mel. The only secret, aside from Italy, that he’d ever held from her.
Twisting around, Sid smiled as his mom came through the door. She was beautiful and he was so happy that everyone was pleased about this happening. Not that it would’ve stopped him from marrying Mel, but it was like an added bonus that both families got along. He talked to his mom for a few minutes before she patted his cheek and went off in search of her future daughter-in-law.
All too soon, Max was in the room and telling him they would be starting soon, so he needed to finish getting ready. Throwing his jacket on, buttoning it up… he grabbed his vows off the desk and folded them before tucking them into his pocket of his pants. Then they made their way down the hall and outside.
The sun was shining down when they stepped out of the house. There were tents set up for the reception, what looked like a jungle gym of flowers that made absolutely no sense to him… and two set of chairs. The guys had decided to split up and not all sit on his side. Mel’s mom was sitting between Geno and Jordan and looked so happy that he thought she was going to burst.
He and Max took their places up by the minister and Sid waited for the music. The quartet that they had hired started playing a beautiful rendition of Canon in D and Sid smiled as Erin made her way down the aisle. She looked beautiful in the emerald-colored dress. With her hair shining in the sunlight, she looked more Irish than he’d ever noticed before. And one glance at Geno told him that his teammate was thinking that he was the luckiest man on the planet.
Then the first bars of the Bridal March started and Sid was sure that the instant the notes started he got tunnel vision. He waited. And waited. And waited. It felt like an eternity, but it was honestly more like fifteen seconds. Then he saw her. And his mind went blank. He had no words for what he was feeling.
Perhaps that was the point. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be able to describe it. But she… she looked like Christmas morning, winning the Cup and getting the Gold all wrapped up in a bubbly, smiling package. He stared as she and John walked slowly up the aisle. When they got to the designated spot that had been determined last night at the rehearsal Sid couldn’t stop himself from grabbing her, pulling her against him and molding his lips to hers.
He heard the laughter, Max was clapping behind him and the minister was clearing his throat. But Mel, who still had an arm linked with John, pressed her fingers of her free hand against his cheek as she slid her tongue along his bottom lip and let out the softest moan he’d ever heard her make. It took Max tugging him backwards to finally end the moment. He straightened his tux, coughed gently and mumbled a quick apology. Mel snorted and then giggled and he felt a blush rise up his neck.
“Well, that was a bit unorthodox… now, ladies and gentlemen. We are gathered here today to witness the union of two people who have found the person that they wish to spend the rest of their life with.” The man kept speaking, but Sid just stared at Melany. Her dress just added to her beauty. She was exquisite.
It could've been a strapless gown. But instead, over her right shoulder was a strap that looked like a vine of flowers. It covered the right portion of neckline and trailed down over the bodice. There was another cluster of flowers at the spot where the bodice ended and the skirt began. The sunlight glinting off of the stones in the flowers dazzled him. They cast a glittery effect over his tuxedo and Sid found himself watching the little dots of light move over the material on his arm.
It made him realize that Melany was swaying back and forth. Not a lot, but just peaceful left to right movements. He looked back up to her face and she was smiling at him. The grin that came to his lips felt so natural... he didn't know if he'd ever be able to get rid of it. And he didn't know if he wanted to.
Now that they were facing one another, and she was close to him again, Sid found himself itching to kiss her, touch her, drag her up to his old room and ravish her, dress and all. And damn the people who were here and making it impossible for him to actually go through with his desires. So, since it was the only thing he could do, he held her hand in his, his thumb moving gently over the top of her hand. The first time he did it he heard her gasp and bit his cheek to keep from groaning out loud.
To try and keep his thoughts PG, and to keep his pants from getting too tight, Sid looked down at the skirt portion of her dress. It was going to be a bitch to get under that thing and get her garter off. The material looked thick and heavy. Before he could stop himself, his fingers were gripping the highest ruched pick-up and he was surprised to find it was a lot lighter than he's figured.
"Not too heavy, is it Tiger?"
He almost snorted out loud at the playful tone coming from Mel’s lips. She was smiling and pretending to pay attention as well.
"You're dress is beautiful, you know," he told her. He snuck a peek back up at her face and she was beaming at him.
"You like it? I hoped you would. I really didn't want you to see it before I came down the aisle. I was afraid you'd think it was ugly."
"No, you look magnificent in it! And I like this feather thing. What is that anyway?"
"It's like a mini veil. The feathers are like a giant clip, and then this little veil hooks to it and falls over my face. It's very old school actually. But when I saw it..."
"You had to have it."
"I like it. The whole thing. Very nature-like."
"Wait til you see my shoes," she said with a smirk. He was about to ask her what she meant when the minister announced that they would be doing their own vows. He was supposed to go first, and with a deep, shaky breath he reached into his pocket and pulled out the paper. He unfolded it and tried to remember to show some personality and not make this a post-game interview answer.
Please don’t let him sound like he’s talking in an interview.
“Marc helped so if it’s too much, blame him,” Sid whispered before he coughed and started to talk.
“Growing up, my life was hockey… 24/7… End of story.
Then, one day not so long ago I stumbled across… by no fault of my own… one of the most interesting people I’d ever had the chance to meet. And almost from the beginning I knew that you were the woman that I wanted to spend my nights and days with.
You keep me grounded and never let me forget that while I’m in the NHL, I am, and will always be, the man that you love. And I like being that man. A lot. You’ve helped me find a balance to my life that I had only hoped to find one day. You’re my Nathalie.
I wanted to write more, but things started getting really sentimental, and I thought that they were memories that I wanted to share with you, privately.”
Mel squeezed his hand and then reached down the front of her dress to pull the paper out that her vows were written on. Damn him for making sentimental vows. She had been sure that with Flower as his helper, they would’ve been laced with hilarity.
“I just want you to remember… Max helped me with these.”
She glanced behind Sid and Max winked at her. Jackass, he totally knew what Sid and Flower talked about.
“Here goes nuthin’…
Less than two years ago, Erin called me up and said ‘I’ve got an extra Pens ticket, you wanna go?’ and I said yes, even though I’d never watched anything hockey-related in my life. First time I looked up the website I thought ‘Whoa Momma, these guys are HAWT!’ Then I watched an interview. You smiled… I was hooked. And then we met… and… it was like getting hit in the head with a puck!”
She giggled as Sid let out that startled high-pitched laugh and turned about ten shades of red.
“Life with you is like a never-ending season. Some days, we argue or your game doesn’t end well and I look at that like a loss in overtime or in a shootout. Then, there are days that are like a giant blowout against a big rival, like today for instance. But most of the time… most of the time I fall asleep in your arms, or alone after talking to you while you’re away, and I smile because the final buzzer has gone off and you and I are tapping heads like Johnny and Flower.
And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life fighting our way to the Cup, metaphorically and literally.”
It was dead quiet. Mel folded up the paper and blew out a breath, the air blowing her veil gently. When she glanced up at Sid, he was staring at her. Not smiling, not frowning… just staring.
“Do something mon ami,” Max whispered.
Sid jerked, like he’d been shocked and then he broke out in a big grin. She held her breath as he leaned toward her. But instead of tipping her head up for a kiss, his hands rested gently on her cheeks and he touched his forehead to hers, a sweet form of the ‘goalie love’ move that she always squealed about after a win. With a murmured ‘I love you’ Sid straightened back up.
For the rest of the ceremony they held hands, only letting go long enough to slide the rings on one another’s fingers. The minister finally got to the kissing part and Mel squeezed Sid’s hand, anxious for their ‘first kiss.’ He hadn’t even uttered the word bride before Sid wrapped his arms around her, dipped her theatrically, and brought his lips down on hers. The way he moved reminded her of the ‘church tongue’ kiss from The Wedding Singer.
Please don’t let her moan again or I’m going to drop her to the ground, guests be damned.
The minister presented them as Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Crosby but he just kept kissing her. She’d been spot on with her analogy. As their family and friends applauded and cheered, he felt like they’d just taken on Philly and won in a 7-0 shutout. He finally pulled his mouth away, taking in a deep breath as he stared at her flushed face.
“Sid.. Sid… you gotta take your wife down the aisle now.”
Wife, I have a wife!
Sid nodded back at Max and did his best not to drag her through all the people too quickly. But in his mind, the faster they got their congratulations, the faster they could take photos and eat. And then it was just a few hours until he could find a private place to divest her of that giant dress.
He bided his time, smiled and made a couple face in the photos, much to Mel’s pleasant surprise. Nothing could take him down from the high he was on right now. Dinner was next, and it was delicious. He’d told her not to spare any cost on food or beverages. There was probably more money spent on alcohol than on the rest of the wedding put together. He was pulled from his thoughts when the DJ, the best one they’d been able to find, announced that it was time for the ‘bride and groom’s first dance’ or the evening.
Sid stood and helped Mel out onto the middle of the floor. She’d designed it to have all the tables set up around the floor so that the dance floor portion was dead center. It was the first time he’d been the center of attention and he wasn’t nervous or bored. He was excited to have her in his arms again. He nodded at the DJ as he clasped Mel’s left hand in his right and put his free hand around her back. She looked up with a smile and as ‘What a Wonderful World’ began to play, he whisked her around the floor like he didn’t have two left feet and didn’t dance like a backwards white boy. There were people taking pictures, Brooks had his video camera again… but all he saw was Mel, smiling and tilting her head back to laugh softly as he twirled her again.
Two hours later the music was still coming through the speakers and Sid loosened his tie before shrugging off his jacket. He laid it over his chair and went to request a song. After talking to Matt, the DJ, he spied Mel dancing with a bunch of her friends and the guys as The Cupid Shuffle played. Max was saying something to her and she was laughing yet again. As the beat changed and the new tune started up, Sid watched her eyes light up.
She looked around for him but Max swept her into his arms and began a tango-like dance.
‘… you can dance, every dance with the guy who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight…’
With those lyrics in his head, Sid marched over and literally stole her out of Max’s arms. She was still smiling and laughing as he held her as close to his body as he could. He wanted to make sure she remembered that he was the one she would always be coming home with. Her eyes were sparkling and her head was thrown back in a carefree motion as Bublé continued his song.
It was almost two days later when Sid pulled her from the bed and started to dance with her as the song came through the iPod’s docking station. She hummed along with it and Sid swayed back and forth with her nestled nice and content in his embrace.
‘… the music’s fine like sparkling wine go and have your fun. Laugh and sing, but while we’re apart don’t give your heart to anyone…’
Mel wrapped her arms around his neck and guided him back to the bed. She pushed him backwards, landing on top of him and crawling her way up his body until she was straddling his hips.
“Naked dancing is too distracting,” she told him as her fingers curled around his rapidly expanding girth. He chuckled and twisted his fingers through her hair as he brought her down for a kiss.
“Naked breakfast didn’t end well either.”
“Oh, I don’t know if I’d classify that as a negative… but you may have to buy them a new rug. I don’t think that the juice is going to come out.”
“I love you wife.”
“I love you husband.”
She smiled and then rose up, bringing her weight back down over him, his entire length enveloped in her velvety depths. They both let out moans and Sid held her hips, keeping her from moving too much. The music played softly in the background still and as Mel started to move over him, her hands holding tightly to his shoulders, he silently sang along with the song to keep himself from ending this new round too quickly.
‘… don’t forget whose taking you home and in whose arms you’re gonna be… save the last dance, the very last dance… for me…’