So, wow, some of you guys are starting to argue pretty vehemently for your sides, which is great and I feel humbled to say the least that you care so much so I'm going to do my best to make the characters worthy of your feelings, but I just want to say that I'm honestly not trying to make Sidney hateful in this...it's just the way he's coming out for me.
“It’s too big,” she says under her breath as she turns in a slow circle beneath the vaulted ceiling in the foyer of one of the houses down the block from Nat and Mario’s.
“I know they don’t have anything like this in the Harbour, but for a gated community, it’s not really that big,” I reply, stuffing my hands into my pockets as I watch her look around in wide eyed wonder. “It’s been on the market for a bit, so Mario thinks we could get a deal on it,” I add, leaning back against the wall while she runs her hand up the aged copper banister.
“I can’t imagine keeping a place like this clean,” she sighs, staring up the wide, elliptical oak staircase.
“Is that what you’re worried about?” I have to bite down on the inside of my cheek not to laugh at her naiveté, which is completely cute and understandable, even though her mother would never have assumed anything but …. “We’ll have a maid service,” I tell her, doing my best not to sound patronizing but her cheeks turn a bright pink anyways. “Besides, we’ll fill the place up soon. I mean, first it’ll be rookies living with us but then,” I grin, crossing the foyer to join her at the foot of the stairs, “we’ll be making our very own hockey team, right?” I ask, nuzzling the back of her neck.
“H…hockey team?” she asks, reaching for my hand as I slip it around her waist to pull her back against me.
“I want a big family Mel, you know that. Lots of rug rats. That’s why I told you you’d be too busy for any of that dress up shit. You’ll be having babies, lots of babies,” I tell her, nipping at earlobe.
“But you wanna wait right? I mean, you just told me how you haven’t had time to even look for your own place. When do you think you’d have time to be a dad?” she asks, turning in the circle of my arm so that our faces are only inches apart and I can feel how fast her heart is beating where our bodies press together. Reaching up, I gently brush her hair from her cheek and I can’t help but smile at the image that appears in my head of her meeting me at the bottom of these stairs with a couple of toddlers clinging to her legs.
“Are you saying I’m going to be a bad father?” I ask, laughing as her eyes get even wider.
“Nnnnooo,” she replies quietly, but the strain is evident in her voice. “But you’re always doing something, interviews, marketing, signing, practicing…. I mean, we can wait until you’re not quite as…in demand.”
“But I don’t want to wait. I want to be young and be able to chase them around and teach them how to skate and take them to practice. C’mon Mel, you know how much I love kids,” I reiterate and her head bobs up and down but I can see the worry in her eyes. “Don’t worry, you won’t be all alone,” I whisper, pressing my lips to hers’ softly, “there’s always nannies.”
“Nannies?” she pushes me back and screws up her cute little nose at me. “You want me to raise my kids with…strangers?”
“Everyone does it,” I assure her. “Ask Lauren if it was so bad.”
“Nathalie and Mario had a nanny?” she looks at me, incredulous. As if I’d lie about something like this.
“When they were little, yeah. Mel…we’re not in the Harbour anymore. I have, y’know, a lot of money. That’s what people do when they have lots of money,” I try and explain, but Mel just keeps staring at me like I’ve grown another head.
“I don’t…I’m not one of those girls that’s impressed by mansions,” she says, sweeping her arms around her to take in our surroundings, “or your bank balance and I don’t want nannies raising our children or making our food. Who the hell do you think I am?” she asks, managing to look both sad and angry all at the same time.
“My Mel,” I reply quietly, reaching to capture her cheeks in my hands. “Why do you think I asked you to marry me?” I ask only to have her stare back at me blankly. “Because you aren’t one of those girls who only wants to date me because of who I am and how much money I make, but I do have money and we don’t have to live like…like we did growing up. Life doesn’t have to be hard like that. Not for us. And that doesn’t make us bad people,” I add as I softly wrap her up in my arms. “Trust me.”
“It’s not that,” she sighs as she leans her head against my shoulder. “This is just…it’s so much all at once. I guess I’m having a hard time taking it all in.”
“You just need to relax about everything,” I tell her, tipping her face up so that she can see how in control I am with all of this. “Leave it to me. I think I know what I’m doing,” I add with a grin that makes her smile at last. “Now, the guys are having kind of a party for me and Brooksy tonight. Maybe that will help you relax.”
“Maybe,” she replies, smiling up at me in that childlike way that makes me want to hold her close and protect her from the big, bad world.
“That’s my girl. Now, one more house to see,” I grin down at her and laugh as she rolls her eyes at me. “And if you thought this place was big, just wait until you see this place. It makes Nat and Mario’s look like a carriage house.”
Sidney had surprised be my turning into a social butterfly once he was amongst all of his teammates and their ‘significant others’. I’d done my best to be cheerful and put on my best ‘happy’ face while he introduced me to everyone, and I did my utmost to keep their names straight, but once left to my own devices, I did what any self respecting socially inept loner does; I went looking for a friendly face.
“It says in the media guide, that your favorite singer is Celine Dion,” I grin leaning against the bar beside where Max has been nursing something dark with big blocks of ice in it. “Please tell me that Flower or Dupes wrote this for you.”
“She’s Quebecoise, I have to give props to my girl. She makes a butt load of money. I’m just hoping she’ll take me on as a house boy,” he adds with a sly grin as he stirs the ice in his drink thoughtfully.
“Oh yeah, poor hard done by millionaire,” I sigh dramatically as I stare down into the melting ice in my glass.
“It goes quick,” he says, shrugging his shoulders. “You wouldn’t believe how quick it can go. Not that you’ll ever have to worry about that.” I open my mouth to protest but he waves me off and shakes his head. “I don’t mean it like that. I’m just saying, it could all stop now and Sid and his whole family could live very, very nice lives and never have to worry. Me? Every time I got out on the ice now I worry, is this it? Is this going to be my last shift? Am I going to get injured and never be able to play again?”
“No wonder you’re holding the stick so tight,” I mutter and he snorts and almost laughs.
“Maybe that’s one reason,” he sighs, picking the lemon wedge off of the side of his glass and pushing it into his drink, stabbing it methodically with his straw. “That and I told Jordan and Duper.” It takes a minute for me to realize what he’s
admitting to and then my heart starts to hammer against my chest walls so hard I’m sure he must be able to hear it. “Don’t worry,” he says quietly, turning those emerald green eyes towards me. “They won’t say anything.”
“You told Jordan Staal? You should have just taken out an ad in the fucking Hockey News. Are you fucking insane?” I hiss at him, wanting very much to pick up the solid looking ashtray off of the bar and break his head open with it.
“They won’t say anything, they’re my friends,” he reiterates, casually, as if that solves everything.
“Yeah, well, they’re his friends too,” I point out emphatically but he only smiles wryly and shakes his head.
“Creature isn’t close to them like I am. He doesn’t make friends like that.”
“What do you mean? You’re his friend,” I point out but again he only shrugs those large shoulders and sighs. '
“Sure, I’m everyone’s friend. I’m the funny guy who tags along, having a good time. It wasn’t just Sid’s big bash I went to this summer you know. It was Geno’s as well. We took a private jet, to Russia, it was a pretty big deal,” he smirks, obviously remembering some ménage a trois with the mile high club or something else I don’t want to know about.
“You are his friend. I’ve seen you together,” I reiterate, becoming more irritated by the moment that he doesn’t seem to see this as life and death like I do. That’s when Max turns to me, looking very serious, and reaches out to take my hand. For one moment I feel calm, like it’s going to be okay, and then I realize that’s what he wants me to think, so I pull my hand free. Rolling his eyes, Max grabs my hand again and looks me dead in the eye.
“Crosby doesn’t have friends, except maybe you. He had, before. Army, Bugsy…but every guy he gets close to gets traded or something. So now, we’re like, co-workers or something. No matter what you see, or what you think you see, we’re not that close. He won’t let anyone close to him. Not like that. But now he has you,” he adds, his gaze sliding away from mine as he lets my hand go and turns back to his drink. “He’s a lucky guy.”
“Yeah, well, you know how great I’m not,” I point out, turning back to my drink and swirling the half melted ice cubes in my glass.
“Don’t say that,” Max replies stubbornly. “That’s far from true.”
“Oh, c’mon. I’m naïve, I’m small town, I’m too young to know better, and apparently I’m not really pretty enough for him,” I sigh, thinking back to Lauren’s warning.
“Well that’s a fucking lie,” Max sighs, hanging his head and chuckling sardonically.
“This isn’t you,” he says, raising his green eyes to look into mine. “This isn’t…when I met you at his place in the Summer…you were so…alive. Now…it’s like you’re half of who you were, and in New York you were different…. Don’t you see what he does to you? Why do you let him walk all over you like this?”
“You don’t understand,” I reply quietly, turning away from him, feeling both embarrassed and defensive at the same time.
“Tu as raison, je ne comprends pas,” he hisses, downing his drink, pushes the bar stool back with a loud scraping noise and storms off. I watch him go, tears filling my eyes and an ache beginning in my chest. It feels like disappointing my favorite teacher or worse, losing my best friend.
But he doesn’t understand. This is all I’ve ever wanted. I’ll do anything…anything to make this work.
“Dupes says we can stay over,” I whisper to her, lacing my fingers with hers on the cool wet tile beside the pool where we sit, dangling our feet into the heated liquid, watching the steam rise over the water lit from below. I hear her catch her breath and feel her entire body go very still. “If you want,” I add, glancing at her hopefully. Most of the crowd has already gone home to their own beds. There are still a few stragglers inside like Jordy and Tanger but they’re making plans to hit an after hours club and will be gone soon. I’m reminded of that night back at my place in the Harbour, our feet appearing nearly translucent in the brightly lit water, surrounded by nothing but quiet darkness. “I know it’s still not…private,” I add, “but don’t you want to be with me?”
“Of course I do,” she whispers back, and I’m sure I can feel her hand tremble in mine.
“We could go for a swim first,” I offer, “no one will come out.”
“Sidney…I don’t know,” she says, turning those doe like eyes on me. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she adds, looking very serious, so serious it makes me smile.
“Oh c’mon Mel. Don’t tell me you’ve never done it with other people around,” I whisper, leaning in to press my lips to the shell of her ear. “I bet you’ve even heard Jordy and Kennedy doing it,” I add, chuckling at the idea of her lying on her own in her own bed, in the dark, mortified by the noises they’d be making.
“You don’t have to be so crude,” she sighs as she stares disapprovingly at me. I just smile back, because I see that look in her eyes, the one she gets when she knows she’s being challenged and she’s about to rise to meet that test. As I watch, she slides her hand free from mine and then drags the filmy white peasant top she’s been wearing over her head and tosses it aside. Just as I’d guesses most of the night, the bra she’s wearing beneath is white and lacey, innocent looking, just like she looks as that challenging look leaks from her gaze, replaced by a hesitation as she bites down on her bottom lip and waits for me to make the next move.
I pull my t-shirt off and get up and reach for my belt and I’m sure, even in the semi-dark that I can see her cheeks painted a sweet pink colour. Dropping my shorts to the concrete, I dive into the pool and surface to see her wiggling out of the tiered broomstick skirt that’s been hiding her shapely legs all night, which leaves her standing on the edge of the pool in a pair of white cotton panties with the word angel written strategically across the front with a halo hanging around the bottom of the ‘l’ as if it’s slipped.
“Are you coming in?” I call, treading water as I watch her stand, shivering at the edge of the pool. “The water’s warm.”
“I’m…shy,” she calls back to me, her arms hugged around her, staring at me with wide, doe like eyes.
“Mel, we’re engaged,” I laugh. “Isn’t it about time you trusted me? Now c’mon, get in here.” I can see her shaking as her she stands there staring back at me and I can see hesitancy clear on her face. Then, just as I’ve seen her do a hundred times before, she raises her chin and her eyes flash and I know she’s made up her mind to do something she’s half afraid to do. That’s my girl.
Licking my lips, I watch her reach back to undo her bra, though she covers herself before she drops the white lace garment to the ground. Then she walks into the shallow end and slips her panties off beneath the water before tossing them onto the deck of the pool as well. All the while, I remain treading water just at the edge of the deep end where I can’t quite touch the bottom so she has to swim to me, using long, graceful strokes, with her hair floating in the water behind her.
As she reaches me, I take a few strokes backward until I feel the sold concrete wall behind me, then with one hand on the wall I reach out to slide my other arm around her waist and pull her to me. The warm water mixed with the cool touch of her skin on mine feels amazing as does the soft wetness of her lips as I press mine down over hers’. I can taste the chlorine on her mouth and the raspberry Stoli she’s been drinking as my tongue twines with hers’.
She’s still shivering as our bodies press together and now I know that it has nothing to do with the cool night air. She is so like the deer in the headlights that her wide eyes suggest as she draws back to search my face. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think this was her first time.
“I love you Sidney,” she whispers, like she has to say it to me, like I have to hear it as I nudge my erection between her thighs.
“I know,” I smile back at her, letting go of the edge of the pool long enough to brush her wet hair from her pale cheek and place my lips there, just on her cheekbone and then down to the edge of her jaw. “How lucky am I?” I add, dropping my hand down to her hips, holding her there in the water, our buoyancy holding us apart. She wraps her legs around me then and I slide up into her, the heated water doing the work that an hour of fore-play couldn’t have done any better.
I hear her draw a quick breath as I push up into her and her arms wrap tightly around my neck, holding on as the concrete wall digs into my back. Still, it feels so good, warm and tight inside of her and I just hold myself there enjoying the feeling of her fitting around me like a glove before I let her go, the water sort of pulling her away before I take her hand and draw her into the shallows where I can get a better purchase.
Turning her into the wall, I press her back against it and draw her thighs up and around me as I bury myself deeply inside of her. She lets out a little cry as she wraps her arms around me.
“Do you like that?” I ask, my hands reaching for the edge of the pool, using it and the bottom of the pool to hold myself in place while I draw out of her and shove myself back inside, making her cry out again.
It isn’t the rose petal strewn bed or the candle lit setting I’d always imagined. It isn’t even romantic. What it is, is an opportunity and Sidney was clearly tired of waiting. I didn’t really want to do it like this and the idea of getting caught did nothing for me in the way of heightening the sense of anticipation but I know I can’t stand here all night in my underwear, staring at his broad, round shoulders bobbing above the clear blue water either.
“Are you coming in?” he calls, grinning up at me and reminding me of all the times we’d dared one another to swim across the lake in the pitch dark in the middle of the night, except now the dare isn’t to be one of the boys, to swim farther and faster. “The water’s warm,” he adds, as further incentive, although it’s hardly the incentive I need. My incentive is clearly in front of me in the form of the man I’ve dreamed of being with ever since I stopped thinking boys were icky.
I can see him working up to one of those speeches, the ones where he tells me to suck it up, man up or whatever. Where the dare moves from just a dare to a double dog dare and that just isn’t what I need right now. What I want and what I’m going to get are obviously two different things so instead….
“I’m shy,” I tell him, which is true. I can’t believe after all this time I’m going to be naked in front of him and that’s when the guilt hits, when I actually feel like I may have made a mistake going to Max instead of waiting for this…well this less than ultimately romantic moment.
“Mel, we’re engaged. Isn’t it about time you trusted me? Now c’mon, get in here.” It isn’t exactly a double dog dare but it has the tone of impatience behind it and I have a flashback of being overdressed for winter and running to keep up with him, idiot mittens dragging behind me in the snow. The twinge of pain that vision causes sweeps away the guilt and instead I think about torturing him, making him wait to see me.
So I reach back to undo my bra, keeping my arm across my chest when I drop the white lace push up behind me, but I can’t keep my arm there and take my panties off so I take a few steps into the water, just enough to have the tub water warm liquid reach my waist before I begin pushing them down and wriggling until I can step out of them. They’re cute, but not the ones I would have chosen to wear if I’d known tonight was going to be the night, I think as I swim out to wear he’s treading water, moving his thickly muscled arms in slow lazy circles as he watches me with greedy eyes.
He takes the teasing a step too far as far as I’m concerned when he keeps moving just out of my reach, but then, when I have him trapped against the edge of the pool, he pulls me against him and there’s no doubt about how much he’s enjoyed the show so far.
And then he kisses me, a long, languid kiss with his soft lips moving over mine gently and forcefully in turn, and as much as I want to be the sexy siren, my nerves get the better of me and even against the warmth of his body and in the steaming water, I can’t help but shudder, a mixture of fear and anticipation making my entire body quake.
God! This didn’t happen when I was with Max. Sure I’d been scared, but it’s almost all I can do not to cry as he presses the hard, thick length of his cock against my stomach. I have to say it to myself, over and over in my head, ‘don’t cry, you can do this, don’t cry’ like a kid being forced out onto the stage at the Thanksgiving pantomime.
“I love you Sidney,” I whisper, more for myself, to remind myself of why I’m doing this, or why I’m letting him do this to me as I feel him push himself up between my thighs. This isn’t what I wanted but it’s him and I want him so I want this. I do.
“I know,” he smiles at me, gently brushing my wet hair back from face where it’s stuck like seaweed, and just for a moment there’s tenderness in his voice instead of insistent greed and I find myself relaxing against him as he kisses his way down to my jaw line. “How lucky am I?” he adds, making me smile as he urges my thigh up and around his hips so that he can slide inside of me which presses the air out of my lungs and for a moment I grit my teeth, expecting the pain that doesn’t come even though it does feel like he’s stretching me wider than I’m meant to go. So when he pulls out and presses himself back in to me I can’t help but gasp.
Then he withdraws and I look up from where I’d buried my head in his shoulder to find him dragging me into the shallows where he presses me up against the concrete wall and lifts me onto his thick cock, dragging another gasp from me as my body stretches to accommodate him.
“Do you like that?” he asks, his voice husky as he whispers in my ear. “Is it better than anyone else?” He can’t help it I guess, the competitive juices flowing even now as he shoves himself deeply inside of me. Burying my head in his shoulder I bite down on my cheek and try not to laugh. Sidney’s always had a foul mouth but talking dirty…it’s so far from how I’d imagined this moment to be that I want to laugh except that I know if I do not only will it ruin the moment but he would probably take it wrong.
Max wouldn’t, I think, closing my eyes and letting my head fall back as he jams away at me like he’s playing whack a mole instead of making love. I catch myself smiling at the thought of Max putting on his thickest Pepé la Pue accent and kissing his way up my arm all the while telling me ‘you ‘ave never looked more ravasheeeng, eeet eeez luuuvvv at first sight it is, non?’.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I try to shake off the thought of him, but when I open my eyes, he’s there before me…
Shutting my eyes, I shake my head, telling myself that I’m missing the moment, that I’m making love with the man I’ve loved ever since I can remember but when I open my eyes….
Max is staring back at me through the kitchen window and the anger and disgust on his face…
“Sidney,” I try pushing at his shoulders but he’s too far gone, too wrapped up in what he’s doing to really hear me.
“Yesss, Mel, you feel so good,” he moans, his hand fisted in my hair, his teeth digging into the curve of my neck. “You like it don’t you? You love it don’t you?”
I hear myself say yes, but I shake my head as I stare back at Max wishing he didn’t have to see this and suddenly wishing this had never happened that I could take it back, that I could dial the clock back and make things come out differently. This should never have happened I tell myself, wanting to send that message my telepathy to Max as he turns from the window and heads back into the house. This was wrong; the wrong place, wrong time. You don’t do this at someone else’s house, even if you are the captain of the team. It’s wrong. It never felt right in the first place.
“Sidney stop,” I whimper, pushing harder at his shoulders.
“Yeah, is that the way you want to play it?” Sidney grins up at me suddenly, his eyes alight. “You want me to play it rough? Is that how you like it?” he asks, and I shake my head vehemently but he keeps going, digging his fingers into my hips and slamming me hard enough into the wall of the pool that I know I’ll have bruises to go along with my humiliation later.
Close your eyes and think of England. Is that how the saying goes? I close my eyes and bury press my forehead against his powerful shoulder and wait for it to be over with, making all the appropriate sounds and hating myself every single moment for doing it. But I do it anyway, all the while wishing it was different and hating myself for knowing how it could have…how it should have been.