Friday, September 10, 2010

New Story!!

Just a note to let you know I've finally got a chapter of the new story up. It's called Rolling Thunder and Razorblade Kisses and can be found here:

Monday, September 6, 2010


It's always hard to end a story, and it's doubly hard for me when I know that it will disappoint a lot of you who have been so encouraging and have sent me so many amusing and downright hillarious thoughts while reading this story. I thought it would go on longer, but as I wrote this, I just knew that my characters were saying, enough, this is it. So without further disseminating


“Not yet, not yet.” Sidney held his eyes firmly over her eyes, even though she had a scarf tied around her head.

“If you let Max push me off the dock, I swear I’ll stick your dick on the barbeque, cook it and eat it,” Tabby warned. Sid grinned to himself. They’d driven in circles after leaving the airport, her eyes covered the entire time and even though she’d sworn she’d get car sick with the scarf on, Sidney had refused to allow her to remove it while Max and Jordan talked endlessly about upgrades Sid had done to the dock at his house. Oh he’d done upgrades alright, just not to his dock. Well, it was her dock technically, but he liked to think of it as their dock.

“Max isn’t coming any closer than the car, for now, I promise,” he whispered to her as he walked backwards, slowly, leading her towards their final destination. “Jordan and Max will stay at the car with Toby and Cody, I promise,” Sidney grinned, looking over her shoulder towards the two infants still strapped in their car seats.

“Well then the punishment doubles if anything happens to them while we’re doing…whatever we’re doing,” she muttered, looking decidedly unhappy. “If I so much as hear a single squeal out of either one of my boys Jordan Lee Staal I will cut your dick and your balls off and throw them in the lake!” Sidney saw Jordan wince but he wasn’t worried. Every guy on the team were doting and loving uncles to his boys and had been since the day they were born, a week after Valentine’s day, two weeks early.“This had better be some fucking amazing gazebo Sidney Patrick Crosby, or else,” Tabby snarled, wrenching Sidney’s thoughts back from that amazing day when he’d first held his boys in his arms, back to the present.

“Just a few more steps,” he promised, returning his gaze to the face of the woman that owned his soul and at least half of his heart. The other half their boys owned now.

“I don’t get it,” Tabby muttered, her teeth clenched. She really did not like surprises but he hoped this would be worth it. “Did you make the fucking gazebo out of solid gold or something?”

“If you’d asked me to I would have,” he told her, gathering her against his chest as he turned her so that she was facing the lake, and the view he hoped they’d share for the rest of the summer. She sighed and leaned back against him and he smiled as he reached up to tug loose her blindfold. For one, long, agonizing moment, she didn’t say a word. The next moment, he knew, by the hitch in her breathing that she was crying.

“My dock?” she managed, looking down at the new wood beneath their feet before she turned to look up the hill at the house with its new siding, new chimney and new deck. There was plenty more that was new about it, the renovations had been going for months. Those were things they could explore later.

“Yes, it’s yours. I put it all in your name,” he told her in an earnest whisper as he held her, his arms around her waist, his lips at her ear.

“When she’d told me it had sold I didn’t even ask…I never thought,” she sighed again, her shoulders lifting and falling with the deep intake of breath before she turned in the circle of his arms and lifted her hands up to capture his face. She grinned at him, her eyes shimmering with tears but with the same happy light that had filled them on that early morning five months earlier when Toby had been put in her arms and they’d looked at each other just like this, like life couldn’t possibly get any better. “It’s perfect…now everything is perfect,” she added with a sniff as they pressed their foreheads together, “even though I’m beginning to think that you like me best when I’m pregnant.”

“I don’t know about best,” he replied, moving one of his hands between them over the still small curve of her belly. It was still too soon to tell anyone, but they knew and the secret made him smile as did the memory of her waiting for him, the night the Pens’ season ended in that black lace teddy. “So does that mean you will say yes now?” She hadn’t said no, the day he’d finally manned up and asked her to be his wife, but she hadn’t said yes either. She’d only said she was going to reserve judgment while he proved himself to her. He hoped he had, now.

“Yes,” she smiled and then offered her lips up to him. He took them, gratefully, feeling a rush of relief as her arms snaked around his neck.

“Good because this whole thing about not sleeping with other people was getting old,” he whispered against her lips, earning him a cuff to the back of the head. Not that he minded at all. He didn’t seem to mind anything she did. “What I meant was, good, because we’re getting married here tomorrow and it would have been a little awkward if you’d said no. I might have had to have taken Jordan up on his offer to tie you to a furniture dolly and wheel you out here like Hannibal Lector.”

“He’d have liked that,” Tabby laughed, her arms still around his neck, her eyes still shining but the tears were gone now. “Not sure Trin would have been suck a big fan though,” she added, with a glance over her shoulder to where her friend stood beside Jordy, Toby in her arms. He knew it was Toby because he had the black sun hat on. Becky, Max’s new girlfriend Becky had Cody, he was wearing the white sun hat. That was the way they could tell their little bundles of joy apart, when they couldn’t see the puck shaped birthmark on Cody’s cute little bum. At least he thought it was puck shaped. Tabby just thought it was kind of round. “So here?” she said glancing around, finally taking in the fairy lights on the gazebo and the toile draped around its’ edges.

“I thought it was appropriate,” he replied, reaching for her arms and slipping them over his head while he went down on one knee. “We had our first date here, sort of,” he added, grinning up at her. “Until a couple of morons got in the way,” he reminded her while he fished the ring out of his pocket. The ring she’d refused. ‘Later’ she’d told him. She had also told him she would let him know when she was ready. “Sooo,” he grinned up at her, opening the box and holding the ring out to her. “Will you, finally, be my wife?”

“I thought I’d already answered that question,” she replied, raising a single eyebrow and trying, but failing, to hide a smile.

“I just asked if you would say yes. This is the official, no going back, until death do us part question,” he repeated, pulling the box back and holding it against his chest. “So, will you, Tabitha King, marry me and be my wife, forever and all that?”

“Yes, you idiot,” she laughed, going to her knees and reaching for his lips with hers’. “Yes, yes, yes.”

He thought he could hear his friends’ cat calling and wolf whistling behind him. He thought he could even hear one of the boys crying, probably because of the piercingly loud whistle that Jordy was doing, but he didn’t care. He kissed the woman he loved and slid the ring he’d been trying to put on her hand for almost a year onto her finger and his heart beat so hard in his chest he thought he might be having a heart attack, and he didn’t care.

If I died right now’ he thought to himself as her lips parted beneath his and her tongue slid over his, ‘I’d die happy’.

**please look for a new story coming soon, with Max and the boys...***

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chapter 29

wow...we're really flying now huh?

“What happened? How is she?” Sid skidded around the corner with Max, Jordan and Flower close on his heels, his phone still in his hand. All of the boys were still in their suits, having come straight from the airport.

“Her blood pressure spiked, there was some bleeding,” Tabby’s friend Trina replied in a matter-of-fact tone of voice from where she stood beside the hospital bed. “They have her on Nifedipine and magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions.”

“Contractions?” Sid stared down at the text he’d received as the plane had landed. It still read Tabby’s at Sewickley Valley Hospital. Come as soon as you can.

“There was a girl…a woman, I guess…I mean, really she was more of a tramp,” Mel began only to be cut off by Trina, who’s arms were crossed and she was wearing a scowl on her face that said that she was ready to defend her friend, which meant somehow he had done something wrong.

“This whore was waiting at the house, with a baby in a stroller and some papers requesting child support. You can see how that might be upsetting,” Trina hissed, tilting her head to one side and regarding him with pursed lips that said she wanted to say more but wouldn’t because of the very still form swaddled in the blankets on the bed between the raised security bars with wires running from at least half a dozen places on her chest and an ominous looking belt strapped across her belly with some kind of monitoring device on it. Her face was turned away from his. Sid felt a tightening in his chest. He had hardly been able to breathe the entire way here and it hadn’t just been Max’s driving that had his own blood pressure sky rocketing. But now…now he was scared.

“I don’t…that can’t be right,” he muttered, but it wasn’t as hard as it should have been for his imagination to conjure up visions of a line of women with bundles of joy waiting for him with orders for payment in their hands, except…. “Tabby was the first woman I ever had unprotected sex with.” He looked pleadingly towards the two women who were standing on the other side of the hospital bed beside the monitors that were emitting beeping and chirping noises that were starting to make his head hurt. Her friends looked back at him with cold expressions.

“You said first…so there have been others?” Her more diminutive friend asked after a stretch of charged silence. The back of Sid’s neck itched.

“To quote Ross Geller, they were on a break,” Max interjected, though Sidney shot him a warning look. That wasn’t going to help and it wasn’t even a good excuse.

“After she…when we broke up…I was angry, I was hurt,” he tried to explain, rubbing at the spot at the back of his neck that felt like it had been zapped with an electrical charge.

“You said there was un bébé, un enfant reel?” MAF asked quietly, rubbing thoughtfully at his soul patch as he regarded the women on the other side of the room seriously. Both nodded as they turned their attention to the lean goalie. “If Sidney says he did not sleep with anyone before Tabitha, then cet enfant cannot be his. Le calcul ne fonctionne pas.”

“He’s right,” Max agreed, a little too enthusiastically. “If she was un des ces putains he’s been with, then she would have been less pregnant than Tabs, not more.”

“Don’t help guys,” Sidney breathed, his gut lurching into his throat at the thought of that dark time and the things he did. He hadn’t been proud of it then. He was sick to his stomach at the thought of it now.

“How many?” It took a moment for him to realize where the voice was coming from. It was muffled and seemed almost disembodied but the cool gazes of her two friends told him that it had been neither of them that had posed the question. “How many have there been?” she asked again, this time turning to face him with exhausted, red rimmed eyes.

“Guys, can we have some privacy?” he asked softly, pleading silently with her for the chance to explain, even though he didn’t feel like there was going to be words enough to deserve her forgiveness.

For a moment, just hearing his voice had made her feel calmer, made her think things were going to be alright. But then she remembered the woman looking at her with shrewd eyes that seemed to know too much and in her mind’s eye she saw her thin red lips forming her own name and her threatened tightened around the huge ball of emotion that was restricting her breathing. She heard the beeps and chirps on the machines quicken. They seemed to get louder and she tried to remind herself to breathe slowly and deeply. Closing her eyes she imagined the child within her and told herself to relax, for him.

“I’ll make a call,” he was saying as she heard the footsteps of their friends retreating out into the hall. “I’ll get the gate done today and we’ll get a security company to have someone outside the gates,” he was promising, but Tabby squeezed her eyes shut against the sorrow in his voice and the way it was making her feel, like that mattered. Like that could somehow undo what had already been done.

“How many Sidney?” she asked again, opening her eyes, though they stung from the tears she’d shed. Tears for herself, for fear of losing their child, of having lost him already, or at least the part of him that felt special to her, that she had naively believed was hers’.

“I don’t know,” he replied hoarsely, moving closer, until he was almost at her bedside, but not quite, like he was afraid to come closer to all the wires and all the machines, or maybe to her.

“Two? Ten?” she asked as tears welled in her eyes. Not that it mattered, she told herself, if it was one or twenty-one. The result was still the same.

“I don’t know,” he repeated, “maybe five…six, I don’t know. I wasn’t counting,” he muttered, his head hung low, shoulders drooping and the tips of his ears were bright red. At least he had the capacity to be ashamed.

“I don’t even care that you did…what you did,” she told him, though her voice felt and sounded strangled by that damned ball of emotion in her throat. “I can’t believe you’d risk not just me but our child.” She barely got the word out before it was chased by a sob.

“I’m sorry,” he managed, reaching over the safety bar that was there to stop her from rolling out of bed she supposed. He grabbed her hand, and clutched it hard, maybe too hard. It felt like the bones in her hand were being crushed to a fine powder but that didn’t hurt as much as the thought of some kind of petulance, some form of plague hiding in her body, eating at their child.

“It’s not just the clap or gonorrhea,” she sniffed, looking up into his gold flecked eyes to find tears brimming in his eyes as well. “It’s HIV…AIDS. Maybe you don’t care about yourself but…the baby….” Her free hand had not left the swell of her stomach since the cramps had started after watching that woman go. She willed him to kick and felt an answering roll and stretch that eased her overwhelming fear, for a moment at least.

“I care,” he insisted, his eyes wide and pleading, a single tear sliding down his cheek as his other hand wrapped around the hand that she was sure he was breaking. “I’ll take any test you want, I’m clean, I promise. I wouldn’t do that, ever. I love you,” he added more quietly, “both of you.” His gaze slid to her stomach, for a moment, and then, as his gaze met hers again, his eyes were wild with fear. “Is…is everything alright?” For a brief, dark moment, it occurred to Tabby that she could hurt him if she lied. She could tell him no, that everything was definitely not alright. She could tell him that they’d lost the baby. That maybe then he’d understand how she felt. But she could not, would not tempt fate that way.

“They say it will be okay, if I rest and,” she added, steeling her gaze and raising her chin, “if I don’t have any more shocks. Will I, do you think?” He shook his head, vehemently, in denial, but when she raised her eyebrows at him he shrugged.

“I guess I can’t promise that…but…,” he dropped his gaze from hers and sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s bad enough when shit like this happens to me but I didn’t prepare you for this and even though I’m sure, sure that it’s not true…I’m still sorry.”

“She knew my name Sidney,” she said quietly, her voice small and almost indistinct because it was the hardest thing to say. It was the part that made her the most afraid that it was all true. He raised his gaze, fear infusing his eyes with panic. “Why did she know my name?”


He didn’t know how to answer that question. He knew the answer to the question, just not how to explain it without making it sound seedy and repulsive, which it was. To sleep with other women, random strangers and to pretend that they were her…as if she could be replaced, his stomach heaved.

He could lie, say he didn’t know but there was already too much of that between them, a wall that he had only begun to break down, that he’d only started to be able to see over to that sweetness, that innocence that they’d shared in the summer. If he lied now, if he added to the lies he’d told, the half truths and the omissions he’d told himself weren’t as bad as lies, he’d only be adding more building blocks to the wall, making it higher and more impossible to get over.

“If I did sleep with her…,” his voice trailed off as anger and mistrust flickered in her dark eyes. If…he shook his head. That made it sound like he doubted the truth of it. Dissembling, wasn’t that just as much of a lie? “Some of the girls…the women I fucked, because that was all that it was, fucking, meaningless one night stands.” He held her gaze, hoping she could see the truth in his eyes and hear that he meant every word. “Some of them I asked them…I told them that I was going to call them your name. I wanted them to be you.” His voice faltered. It had made sense to him at the time. It had even seemed like some kind of romantic notion that she might appreciate. It was clear in the curl of her lip and the flare of her delicate nostrils that she didn’t find the idea at all romantic.

She turned her face away from him and with a tug, let him know that she didn’t want him to hold her hand. With regret, he let her hand go and watched it slide over her stomach, and he couldn’t help but wonder if their son was kicking, moving in ways that she could feel beneath her fingertips. He longed to put his hands beside hers’ to feel what she was feeling. Instead, he curled his fingers around the safety rail until his knuckles turned white.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she said after a long, unbearable silence. “I don’t think I can ignore those kinds of…indiscretions.” She said the word like it tasted bad, like she was spitting it out on the sidewalk. He held his breath as she turned her dark, tear filled eyes to face him. “I don’t know how they do it, Vero, Michelle…all the others. I don’t know how they forgive you…I don’t think I can,” she added, her gaze holding his long enough that he knew there was going to be no way of arguing his way out of this. Not that he was sure he could. What argument could he use? He’d never been sure of how some of the other guys went back to their wives as if nothing had happened. How they picked up their kids with the hands that had touched another woman? He’d never intended to be that guy. He didn’t feel like he was but he could understand how she would. “Even if, realistically, I know the math is wrong, that is, if I trust what you’ve said and that you didn’t make a mistake before me…before us,” her mouth curled up a little at the corners, almost like she still liked the idea of ‘us’. It gave him a brief glimmer of hope. “I know that it will happen again. Other women will come and say the same thing and next time I won’t know…I’ll never know for sure.”

She turned her face away and he heard her sob and it took every ounce of will power he had not to climb over the safety rail and gather her into his arms and promise her the world if she would only just forgive him this one time. She wouldn’t want him to do that, he knew, even as the bar bit into the palms of his hands as he squeezed them ever tighter around it and he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to keep the promises he’d make. If he’d been able to give up on them so easily once, if he’d been so quick to try and replace her once, he might do it again. Even if he thought he wouldn’t. Even if he felt sure he could resist every temptation, knowing that he’d been doing it for years, could he be one hundred per cent sure it would never, ever happen?

“Please,” he whispered, forcing his voice past the constriction in his throat that he thought might be his heart trying to climb out to spill itself onto the bed, for her. “Please Tabs…please.” He wanted to say ‘please forgive me’ but he couldn’t even forgive himself, so how could he ask her to forgive him? He wanted to say ‘please love me’ but in this moment he hated himself, so why should she love him? He wanted to say ‘please give me another chance’ but this had been a second chance and he’d lied, or at least he hadn’t told her the truth and wasn’t that the same thing? He didn’t deserve any of those things, so all he could say was ‘please’ and know that he meant all of those things.

“Just go,” she whispered, her face still turned away, but he didn’t need to see it to know that she was crying. He could see her shoulders shaking, her chest rising and falling as she pulled in ragged breaths. The monitors began to squeal and he watched as the lines began to spike and climb and fear froze him to the spot.

“No,” he sobbed, grabbing for her hand. “I told you, no one is going to take you from me and I meant it,” he added in a hoarse whisper as nurses began to fill the room, as he heard them calling for an attending, as he watched them analyzing the printouts from the machines that were monitoring her heart and the baby’s. “I’m not going anywhere,” he promised, even when a nurse shooed him from the room, giving him that look that said she thought he’d caused this, that this was entirely his fault and how could he argue that? It was, it was completely his fault.


Tabby felt like she’d run a marathon. Every bone and muscle in her body ached. Worst of all, her head was pounding. One of the nurses said that the headache was a direct result of her high blood pressure. She’d also promised that one of the medications they were currently pumping into her veins through the i.v. was going to make it better.

She stared up at the ceiling and counted the tiles. Fourty-two. Two of them were cracked. Nearly all of them had some kind of stain on them. She wondered how many of those stains were blood and how many of them were worse than that, other human bodily fluids that made her stomach heave, threatening to spill its contents which wasn’t much more than a few crackers and some rubbery lime flavored Jello. She wondered if they served that in the hospital because they got a discount on it, because no one ever buys lime Jello?

“Twins.” She said it out loud and it still didn’t sound real. She ran her hands over each side of her stomach and closed her eyes. “Twins,” she said it again and felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth. They hadn’t given her a picture, like they had the first time, but she could still see the two sets of hands, the two feet, two bodies curled around one another like yin and yang.

They’d missed it the first time, the doctor had explained, probably because they’d been in line with one another, one hiding behind the other, their hearts beating in unison. She liked that thought; two little boys, each one defending and supporting the other, a defensive pair.

“They…a nurse told me we’re having twins.”

Tabby looked over at the doorway to where Sidney was standing, his charcoal suit rumpled, like he’d slept in it, his hair equally bedraggled, like he’d been pulling at it, his tie loose like a noose around his neck waiting to be tugged tight.

“That’s what they say,” she replied in a whisper, half relieved to see him, half angry that he still looked handsome despite the fact that he looked as if he could almost pass for homeless even though the suit was expensive. The tie alone was worth at least a hundred bucks.

“The nurse told me that they’re going to be okay,” he added, looking towards her hopefully, like he needed confirmation.

“As long as I keep my blood pressure down,” she replied, unable to make herself frown threateningly like she wanted to. He really was too damn good looking, even now when he was looking even younger than he was, hesitant and scared. Reaching out, she offered her hand and watched relief break across his handsome features as he crossed the floor in three strides. Taking her hand in both of his, he fell to his knees and pressed his forehead against the back of her hand.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, his voice rough rasping with emotion.

“I know,” she smiled while tears welled in her eyes as she reached over to ruffle his hair with the fingertips of her free hand.

“If I lost you…any of you…,” his voice trailed away as he turned his imploring gaze up to meet hers’. She could only nod. When the room had been full of doctors and nurses, strangers poking and prodding her, talking over her, through her, she’d wanted him. She’d wanted his hand to hold. She’d wanted him to tell her it was going to be okay. She’d wanted to look into his hazel eyes and see what she could see now, and she knew…this is how they do it. This is how they forgive them, because they love them.

“I guess you can’t get rid of me that easily,” she told him, brushing her hand down his face until he caught that one in his hand and kissed each knuckle before turning her hands over and pressing his lips to the center of each palm.

“I don’t want to get rid of you,” he whispered fiercely as he turned his eyes up to her again. “I love you,” he added in the same ferocious tone.

“I love you too,” she whispered back, pulling his hand up to her mouth and pressing her lips to the back of his hand as he got back to his feet.

“I want this to work,” he told her, still holding fast to both of her hands and giving each a firm squeeze. “I’ll do anything,” he added and the ardent look in his eyes told her that he meant it. Just for a moment she wondered if castration was too much to ask and then decided against it. She liked that part of him too much for that.

“Not that I want you to…you know…roam,” she couldn’t help but smile as she said it, though she was deadly serious, “but if you do, just be honest with me. No secrets. No more secrets,” she added just for clarification.

“I know you have no reason to believe me,” he sighed, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before he opened those hazel orbs and focused them on her full force, “but I don’t want anyone but you Tabs. Since the first day I saw you in that bait shop, I haven’t wanted anything or anyone else but you.” He let go of her hands, but not before pressing another kiss to each of her hands. Tabby watched him quizzically while he searched his pockets until he found a small, slightly crushed, worn looking velvet box. Her breath caught in her throat. “I’ve been carrying this around with me since the day we broke up,” he told her, opening the small box and withdrew a small, elegant looking ring from it. He held it up between his forefinger and thumb and then reached for her hand with his. “Tabitha King, marry me and be mine forever.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chapter 28

this doesn't happen too often, back to back chapters on back to back days, but hey! when a girl has an evil plan the words just all come in a rush

“I can’t believe you finally made it!” If it had not been for her general size and the fact that her back was aching, her ankles were swollen and she had to pee, Tabby would have launched herself into her friends’ arms. As it was, Mel and Trina gathered her into a group hug and all of them jumped up and down and squealed like happy pigs rolling in mud.

“We thought we’d give you Christmas day with your folks at least,” Mel replied finally, after they had disengaged themselves only enough to link arms as they walked through the arrival terminal. “So, did you get some good prezzies? I don’t see a ring on it yet?” Tabby groaned and rolled her eyes.

“Oops,” Trina laughed, sharing a grim glance across Tabby’s body with Mel. “Looks like you’ve hit a sore spot there.”

“It’s not…I mean…I don’t care…not really,” Tabby began, not really sure if she was trying to make herself believe it or her friends. “It’s just…well I’ll show you when we get back to the car but, let’s put it this way, I don’t think that he’s used to buying stuff for women.”

“Uh oh, sounds like someone’s in the dog house for more than not putting a ring on it,” Trina snorted as they found their way out onto the sidewalk where a long, black stretch limo was waiting. Mel slid in first, with Tabby crawling in after her and Trina following, tucking her long legs beneath her on the plush bench as the driver closed the door behind them.

“Look at this,” Tabby sighed, grabbing a bag she’d left on the floor of the limo out of which she pulled a black lacy teddy, and not the kind of scratchy cheap nylon kind from Frederick's but a well made basque from Agent Provocateur with intricate embroidery and sexy sheer mesh paneling. Both Mel and Trina whistled but Tabby continued to look as nonplussed as she had when she’d pulled it out of the box on Christmas night. “What’s wrong with this picture?” she asked, holding it up to herself so that it was painfully obvious that the provocative piece was not made for a pregnant woman.

“Well maybe he was thinking about after the baby’s born,” Mel suggested, a hopeful tone in her voice that suggested she didn’t really believe a word of it.

“This would never have fit me before I became a beached whale,” Tabby moaned, stuffing the offensive piece bag in the bag.

“I’ll have it,” Trina grinned, making a grab for the bag. For a moment Tabby held the bag just out of her friend’s reach, but then shrugged and handed it to her.

“Jordan has been looking forward to getting back at you for leaving him handcuffed and naked for all his teammates to see. Maybe that will keep you from being punished too severely,” she added with a chuckle and a shake of her head. Trina just grinned wider, which caused both Mel and Tabby to roll their eyes.

“So don’t tell me that was all he got you?” Mel asked and Tabby shook her head as she held out her hand. “Oooh, pretty!” Mel took Tabby’s right hand and both she and Trina bent over it, examining the gold band and the three stones set in it.

“My birth stone, his and an aquamarine for the baby,” Tabby explained as her two friends gushed over the size of the stones and the thickness of the band.

“That’s gorgeous,” Trina exclaimed as she sat back. “Not an engagement ring, but really nice.”

“And expensive looking,” Mel added, giving Tabby an encouraging smile. As if it mattered how much he’d spent on it. At least it didn’t to Tabby.

“But you should have seen my face,” Tabby explained as she ran her thumb over the stones and thought about how hard her heart had beat when he’d pulled out the small Tiffany blue box with its’ patented silver bow and put it in her hand. “I thought…I mean if you’d seen the box, you would have thought so too, right?” Tabby searched her friends’ faces and both of them nodded and looked appropriately sympathetic. “I mean, it’s so stupid, because you know me. I’m not the 'bling-bling' girl and I’ve never wanted the big white wedding or any of that shit. That’s not me but…but when I saw the box and my mom had been going on and on about how we should be married…I just assumed and then…and then this,” she sighed, running her hand over the stones again.

“It’s super pretty but really disappointing,” Trina filled in the words that Tabby hadn’t said out loud and a silence fell over the group of women until Tabby felt Mel’s hand on her arm.

“Maybe, after the whole ‘break’ thing, he’s just taking the time to make sure that you two are solid,” she suggested and Tabby nodded. That was very like what she’d been telling herself. The problem was, she hadn’t managed to convince herself yet.

Or maybe he’s like Prince William and he’s going to make you hang around for seven years,” Trina added skeptically, earning her dark looks from both Mel and Tabby. “What? I’m just saying it’s a possibility. Don’t jump down my throat. He’s the one that gave you that,” she said, pointing to the three stoned ring on Tabby’s hand, “instead of a five carat diamond.”

“Maybe I should phone Jordan and make sure he doesn’t bring the fuzzy cuffs,” Tabby grumbled but Trina just grinned back at her.

“That’s okay, I brought my crop and a paddle and….”

“Don’t,” Tabby squealed, holding up her hands and squeezing her eyes shut against the image that had sprung into her mind’s eye of the big blond forward with rosy ass cheeks. “Don’t tell me anymore. I don’t want to hear it.”

“Mmm, I wonder if Johnnie’s into any of that?” Mel asked as if she was thinking out loud and the girls fell into a fit of giggles.

“So, did you do it?”

Sidney glanced up from the text he’d just gotten on his blackberry as Flower dropped into the seat next to him on the plane and shook his head.

“And don’t look all smug,” Sid admonished the dark haired goaltender when Marc grinned. “I didn’t chicken out and it has nothing to do with that whole macho French thing you and Max were going on about, making her sweat either,” Sid added glumly. “I just…it wasn’t the right time, that’s all.”

“So mon ami, what is that now, une fois, est que deux fois que tu ne l’as pas demandé de t’épouser?” Marc manages, just, not to laugh as he poses the question that makes Sid slump further down in his seat.

“I couldn’t ask her in front of everyone…what if she’d said no?”

“Tabby?” Sid looked up to find Max peeking over the top of the seat in front of him with a quizzical look on his face. “She’s your baby momma, of course she’s going to say yes…or is that oui, ah oui, oh Sidney oui!” Rolling his eyes at Max’s sex noises, Sidney looked back down at his blackberry.

“Well she has her friends in town now, so unless I do something for New Years….”

“Friends? What friends?” It was now Jordan’s turn to peek over the seats, this time from behind Marc, looking like an eager puppy.

“Yeah, those friends,” Sidney sighed out loud, holding his phone up so that Jordan could get a good view of the photo that Tabby had just sent of her and her two buddies at the Penguins store, stocking up on jerseys. He hoped it had been taken in a dressing room, considering that in Trina’s case, she looked to be wearing very little besides a pair of knee high boots and Jordan’s jersey.

Daaamn,” Gronk groaned and disappeared from view, with Sidney’s phone.

“Why not do something for New Year’s? We’ll be in New York right? Bring her up there, go to some fancy restaurant, drop the ring in some champagne….” Max suggested while both Flower and Tanger rolled their eyes and made gagging noises.

“Ne l’écoute pas,” Kris mumbled, shaking his head at Max, which made his hair fall into his dark eyes “He only dates whores. What does he know about romance, au sujet a courtiser une jolie femme?”

“Je suis très romantique! Nous Québécois savent tous sur les romantisme!” Max argued and that started an argument between defenseman and the forward that Sidney decided to ignore. Neither of them had ever had a steady, real relationship as far as he knew. There was little point in listening to either of them.

“Do you want to marry her?” Marc asked as Sidney reached for PSP, hoping that a game of Medal of Honor, killing some people, even hypothetically might help him feel better.

“Yeah,” was his one word answer, though it came out more as a grunt than an actual word.

“Then just ask her mon ami, et je pense que Max et raison, je crois qu’elle va dire oui.”


This is your place?” Trina had the window rolled down and had stuck her head out into the breeze as the limo pulled into the driveway.

“I know, it’s way too big for just us. Even when he’s born, there’s too much room. I’m terrified of what hide and seek will mean in this palace,” Tabby replied with a sigh as she rubbed at her stomach. Junior had been playing hacky-sack with her bladder for most of the ride home.

“Yeah but it’s nice,” Mel chimed in as the limo slowed to a stop. “I mean, other than the hooker on the corner,” she added, scrunching up her nose as she peered out the opposite window.

“Hooker?” Tabby slid down the seat to look. “Please don’t tell me it’s that girl again,” she added, half under her breath.

“You guys don’t have gates?” Trina hissed as she slid out of the car and stood, staring at the woman who was standing near the front door of the house, staring back at them.

“There was but Sidney wanted some higher ones and then there was a problem with the contractor…you don’t want to know,” Tabby mumbled, leaving her bags behind for the driver to retrieve as she took Mel’s hand and allowed her friends to help pull her out of the car. “This had better be good. I have to pee.” Grumbling curse words under her breath, she strode towards the woman, but stopped when she realized what was just behind her, a stroller. “Oh holy fuck,” she hissed, stopping dead in her tracks, about ten feet away.

This woman had the same sort of cheap look about her that the last one had, with obviously dyed black hair and cheap, dry looking hair extensions that fell to the middle of her back. Unlike the first one, this woman had nicer clothes, designer jeans that looked like they were painted on and an expensive looking leather jacket. She was wearing too much make up, Tabby thought, lipstick a shade too bright, and the kind of false eyelashes that made her eyes look like they were ringed by spider’s legs.

“Hey bitch, you’re on private property,” Trina called out, making herself useful. The woman didn’t even flinch. ‘She is a hard faced cunt’ Tabby thought as tried to peer around her to see what was in the stroller.

“You’re her, aren’t you?” the woman asked, her gaze focused entirely on Tabby. For a moment it felt a lot like she was being given that once over that a man usually gives, that whole up and down while he undresses you with his eyes. Except the woman in front of them raked her gaze over her like she ripping off her skin with a sharp blade. Tabby shivered. “You are,” the woman decided with an evil looking smirk. “He wanted to call me something…some name.” She looked thoughtful for a moment and then her nasty looking grin widened. “Tabby, am I right?”

Tabby heard Mel gasp behind her and she was sure she could hear Trina’s knuckles cracking beside her. For herself, she could only hear the sound of her own heart, beating hard and quickly, in her ears. Her first thought, when she managed to catch her breath, was ‘don’t answer that’. Her second thought was ‘I’m going to kill her and then I’m going to kill him, slowly and painfully’. She didn’t say either of those things.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” she asked, hoping that she sounded cooler and calmer than she felt.

“Is that his?” the woman asked, ignoring Tabby’s question and pointing at her swollen midsection. Tabby’s hands went protectively around her stomach but she didn’t answer the question. She just stared back at the woman who was sneering at her. “I guess he didn’t want to use protection with you either huh?”

“I’m going to ask you this one more time, bitch,” Tabby said carefully, taking a deep breath as she did. “Who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want?” The woman continued to smile, that cat that got the canary look on her face that made Tabby’s skin crawl.

“I have a message for Sidney,” the woman grinned, showing teeth that weren’t exactly straight, red lipstick on the tips of her two front teeth. She moved around behind the stroller and brought out a large, manila envelope. “You’ll make sure he gets it, won’t you sweetie?” she said, sarcasm dripping from her tongue like honey from a spatula. Tabby stared at the official looking stamp on the front of the envelope and found that her feet would not move. She felt Mel reach for her hand, but she couldn’t make her fingers uncurl from the fists they were clenched in. She found herself staring, mute, as the woman pushed the buggy towards them until she could look down at the contents, at a round little face that looked up at her from beneath a pink blanket with bunnies and kitties all over it.

Trina reached out and snatched the envelope from the woman’s hand but Tabby never looked at her again. She couldn’t drag her attention off of the tiny bundle. Not until the buggy rolled down the driveway to a car waiting on the street, an older, five liter mustang that had seen better days.

“I’ll kill him,” she said quietly, as she watched the woman load the tiny child into an infant seat. “I’ll fucking kill him.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chapter 27

“Merry Christmas everyone!”

Where he’d got the elf outfit, Sid was almost frightened to ask but he couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Cookie in green tights. Even better was the sight of his wife, Michelle, in a matching red outfit. Ever since Gonch had signed with the Sens and the club had decided not to resign Billy G, Cookie had taken on the role of the grizzled veteran and over all father figure so it was nice to see him in his more natural role of cut up. He couldn’t be the class clown. After all, that role had long belonged to Max. At least since Army left.

The sight of ‘Santa’s little helpers’, however, recharged the waves of nausea emanating from his stomach. Tabby’s parents and brother had arrived this morning. His parents would be somewhere in the building and he’d have to bring them home. Normally spending Christmas day with his parents was something he looked forward to. Not today.

“Cheer up, might never happen.” Cookie grinned as he handed him a box tied with a lime green ribbon. Sid stared down at the present and sighed. “Hey,” Cookie leaned in and hissed in Sid’s ear, “not that there’s anything wrong with it, but if you really don’t want to deal with having a kid, I know a guy who knows a guy if you know what I mean.” Sid knew he was joking but he also knew that his old man was likely to say, if not exactly the same words, something at least similar and it he felt his entire body tense in response.

“Sure, we can have her kidnapped and sell her to some sheik in Arabia or something,” Jordan added unhelpfully. He’d bitten his tongue, over and over, knowing that some of the guys just said shit, that it didn’t mean they believed what they were saying, that it was just hazing and that he needed to let it roll off his back. But after what Bettman had said, had threatened to force him to do, Sid’s patience had been worn thin.

“I can’t wait,” he said simply, looking first Cookie and then Jordan in the eye. “I honestly can’t wait to be a father.”

“If your father lets you live long enough to see that day,” Jordan reminded him and Sid felt the tension in his body grow.

“Hey, Joyeux Noël,” Max interjected, “let the guy breathe. Can’t you see he’s in love?” Sid aimed a grateful smile his friend’s way even as his shoulders drooped as he worried about what his father was going to say. He’d begged his mother to pave the way, to break the news to his father. She’d been thrilled, of course. He just wished everyone could be a little more fucking positive about his situation. “Are you going to open that?” Sid stared down at the box. A quick look around the room told him everyone was either getting the same thing, or at least something similar, so, with a shrug, he tugged at one end of the ribbon.

The ribbon fell away and he slid his finger beneath the tape, planning to carefully open it, only to have Jordan grab the package out of his hands. Sid and Max exchanged a furtive grin and shook their heads as the tall blonde ripped into the paper like an impatient and excited three year old on Christmas morning.
“Hey, I got a fucking iPod. This is cooool.”

Sid stared at the object in his friend’s hand, but even tilting his head from one side to the other didn’t make it any clearer what Jordan was holding.

“Give it to him, sheeit.” Cookie grabbed at what was in Jordan’s hand, pulled it out and pressed it into Sid’s hand. It was cool to the touch and surprisingly heavy for something so small.

“Wow,” he said quietly as he turned over the solid silver rattle, listening to the musical sounds coming from it as engraved words caught his eye. He traced the letters with the pad of his thumb, his initials linked with Tabby’s on one rounded end of the rattle and just the word baby at the other end. “Thanks guys.” He felt a little choked up as he raised his gaze to meet Cookie’s.

“I know we’ve been giving you hard time,” Cookie began.

“But we’re all fucking proud of you for doing the right thing. Plus, we like Tabs, she’s good for you,” Max completed the thought and Sid found himself unable to say another word.

“Nice score sis.” Tabby raised a single eyebrow at her brother and he just grinned at her as she took his empty plate and headed for the kitchen. “When do I get to move in?”

“Leave your sister alone,” her mother sighed, getting up to follow her daughter into the kitchen. “It is a very nice house,” she agreed with her son as she took the plate out of Tabby’s hands before she could put it directly into the dishwasher.

“I don’t love him because he’s rich mom,” Tabby said quietly and her mother merely shrugged as she went over to the kitchen sink to wash the plate before it went into the dishwasher.

“Still, I never thought you’d land on your feet quite this nicely,” her mother replied as she turned back to hand her daughter the plate. Tabby thought about just putting it in the cupboard, just to see what her mother would do, but reminded herself that it was Christmas and things were already stressful enough without intentionally starting something. She told herself that her mother couldn’t help the way she was. That didn’t mean she had to like it though.

“Things could still go horrifically wrong mom,” Tabby answered thoughtfully, thinking about that woman in the driveway. The one she still hadn’t asked Sidney about.

“Yes I’d noticed he hasn’t put a ring on your finger,” her mother answered dryly, with a meaningful glance toward Tabby’s naked hand as she reached for a glass in the cupboard. Tabby flinched and withdrew her hand, switching the glass to her right hand as she did.

“Mom, don’t be old fashioned,” Tabby snapped before ducking her head into the fridge to hide her expression while she swore under her breath.

“I know you’re going to tell me that people don’t do that anymore, but they do,” her mother told her firmly while Tabby rolled her eyes and gritted her teeth.
“Especially young men like Sidney who have a reputation to protect,” her mother added as if she’d practiced the speech and Tabby was willing to bet she had, on her father no doubt, on the plane, all the way to Pittsburgh.

“Don’t you start too,” Tabby mumbled as she poured herself a glass of orange juice. It gave her wicked heartburn but she’d been craving it lately. “The fucking league told him the same thing, and I can’t believe they think they have the right to tell us what to do, so…just leave it, okay mom?”

“You almost sound like you don’t want to marry the boy?” Her mother made it a question and raised her eyebrow as she regarded her daughter with a look that clearly said she didn’t and wouldn’t believe that was true and of course it wasn’t but her mother was honestly the last person Tabby wanted to talk to about this.

“The whole marriage thing is just some kind of convention anyway,” Tabby lied while doing her best to sound convincing while she also did her best to keep her expression neutral. “You know I’ve never been that girl pouring through Bridal magazines planning her wedding down to the last detail. I don’t really care. Besides, I’m as big as a planet. I was just saying that to Sidney…I could totally have moons orbiting me now,” she added, brushing her hand over her swollen mid section. “Were you this big when you were having me?” she asked her mother, artfully changing the subject.

“Not with you, with your brother, maybe,” her mother replied, falling for it, or dropping the subject while she moved forward to place her hands on either side of her daughter’s belly button and started into her other favorite subject of the day, the horrors of stretch marks and child birth while Tabby did her best to smile and nod and act like a dutiful daughter.

“I told you to go ahead and get into her pants son, not make her pants bigger.” Sid tried his best not to roll his eyes as his father gave him one of those paternal pats on the back. ‘And he wonders why I never brought girls home,’ Sid thought as he nodded, all the while biting down on the inside of his cheek to stop himself from telling his old man just where and how hard to shove his opinions about his girlfriend and her condition. At least he didn’t seem pissed off about it, which Sidney felt marginally positive about.

Glancing over at where his mother was now peeking into the oven, he felt worse for Tabby. This was a lot to ask, entertaining both his family and hers’, especially with the way she’d been feeling.

She’d pronounced herself officially ready to have moons in orbit around her stomach just the day before, staring at herself in the mirror after getting out of the shower. He couldn’t exactly remember from biology what stage Tabby was at or what it should or should not look like. All he knew was that her skin had this sort of glow about it, and that her breasts were full, firm and high and even with the swell of her stomach that was now taking on an almost translucent look as her skin stretched to accommodate their child nestled in her belly, he still wanted her.

Even now, watching her wary eyes following the conversation between their two mothers, part of him wanted to drag her into their bed and lay her down and place himself between her thighs with her ripe belly pressed against his flat one, her legs over his arms. He wanted to nestle his cock deep inside of her and hear her sigh, watch her fingers twist the sheets as she gripped the quilt, watch her bite down on her full bottom lip until she couldn’t hold back any longer and her eyes flutter shut as she cried out his name.

“Earth to Sidney, come in Sidney.” Blinking back to reality, Sidney stared at his sister while she rolled her eyes at him. “Wow…you really have it bad huh?” He didn’t reply. He knew he didn’t need to. He didn’t have much of a poker face. “So have you asked her yet or what?”

“Asked her…what?” he took the bag of brightly wrapped packages out of his sibling’s hands and turned to begin stowing them under the tree, where they’d stay until after dinner.

“Okay, be obtuse, whatever” Taylor landed on the couch like she thought it was a trampoline and it was Sidney’s turn to shake his head at her. “I mean, I’m assuming this is the one you were shacking up with back home, then I’m guessing this is more than just hot sex.” Sidney glanced up from the presents he was stacking and gave her a look that he hoped made it pretty clear that he wasn’t up to discussing his private life with his little sister. “I mean, I guess it doesn’t look like she’s got a gun to your head or anything,” Taylor continued without waiting for an answer.

“She hasn’t, no one has,” Sidney hissed under his breath. He was getting a little tired of everyone assuming that Tabby had somehow ‘trapped’ him by getting pregnant. He was pretty sure that if anyone had the right to feel that way, it was Tabby. “For your information, I love her and I’m happy that she got pregnant, okay?” He shot his younger sibling a dark, and he hoped threatening look which she blithely ignored, as she often did.

“So if you love her so much how come you haven’t put a ring on it?” Sidney’s hand paused, mid air, above one of the gaily wrapped packages and he turned to glare at his sister. “What? I’m just trying to look out for my niece or nephew. I mean, I think being born a bastard is still pretty déclassé, don’t you think?”

“I don’t think people really care about that, no,” he replied slowly, his hand hovering over the small box wrapped in metallic silver paper with the sapphire blue ribbon.
“Oh well, as long as you don’t ask her in front of all of us,” Taylor added, making a retching noise and sticking her finger down her throat.

“Would there be something wrong with that?” Sidney asked, picking up the small box and weighing it in his hand.

“Yeah, totally,” his sister replied as she got back up to her feet and stretched, her hands over her head. “Like, way to put a girl in a position where she looks like a total bitch if she says no in front of everyone right? Like you’re forcing her to say yes,” she added with a yawn. “Not that I’m saying she’d turn you down bro but… anyway, it’s not very original either,” she added with a grin before turning on her heel and heading out of the room. Sidney stared after his sibling and then looked down at the diminutive package in his hand.
Taylor was probably right, Sidney thought bleakly as he withdrew the package from beneath the tree. It might seem like he wasn’t sure of her answer, which he wasn’t, he thought as he sat back on his heels and stared up at the tree with its twinkling lights and gold star on its uppermost branch. Vero was always bugging Flower for a ring. Jordan’s high school sweetheart Heather had practically threatened to cut his dick off if he didn’t propose. Tabby…she never said anything. Not a single hint. She didn’t so much as leave a copy of a bridal magazine in the bathroom for him to find.
She loved him. He believed that. But maybe she didn’t want to marry him. Being a realist, Sidney was beginning to think that he had to face that as possibility and so, for the third, or was it the fourth time, he pocketed the small package and dragged himself to his feet as he heard his mother calling him from the kitchen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chapter 26

Tabby made a face at her phone as yet another Trina sent another sarcastic text. She deleted the text and then dropped her phone to the bottom of her purse as she pulled the Land Rover into the driveway and reached for the garage door opener. As she aimed the controller at the front of the house, she noticed a woman standing near the front door.

“What the fuck…?” Throwing the car into park she left it running in case she had to make a quick getaway. “If this is a reporter I swear I’m going to….” She dug into her purse for the can of pepper spray that Mel had bought her as a going away present. To keep puck bunnies away she’d said. “Puck bunny, reporter…same thing,” Tabby grinned to herself as she stepped out of the SUV. “Can I help you?” she called out, careful to keep her distance. The woman looked up from her iPhone, tilted her head to the side and regarded her with narrowed eyes.

“Who are you?”

“I live here,” Tabby replied, careful not to give the stranger any particularly pertinent information.

“Is he home?” the woman asked, with a glance towards the double front doors that they never used.

“No,” Tabby replied, maybe a little too quickly but as she looked at the woman’s jeans that were a little too tight, with her obvious push up bra, nasty looking dried out extensions and bright pink lipstick. This was definitely no reporter.

“So are you like…some kind of friend of his?” the woman asked, crossing her arms across her chest and making a face, as if Tabby was the one who looked like a ten dollar street whore.

“No,” Tabby lied, knowing full well that all the woman had to do was go on the net and she’d know it was a lie, but she did it anyway. “I’m his…his housekeeper.”

“Yeah well…give him a message from me. Tell him thanks for the crabs.” Tabby’s hand tightened around the canister of pepper spray. She seriously considered using it on the stupid tart. She also seriously considered telling her that she’d just been up close and personal with Sidney’s…bits, and they were clean as a whistle. She knew, they’d used a considerable amount of soap in the shower this morning.

“You must be mistaken. I don’t know who you think lives here,” Tabby began but the cheap whore rolled her eyes with their metallic blue eyeshadow and too much mascara and she pulled a face.

“Yeah, Sidney, totally lame in bed Crosby. So like I said, tell him thanks. Oh and tell him he’s a total prick.” The woman made a face towards the house and then she slowly made her way down the street.

She must have taken a bus here’, Tabby thought uncharitably as she watched the woman wobble down the street in her high platform heels. “Crazy bitch,” she added in a hiss as she tried to make herself turn back to the car but she couldn’t get her feet to move.

It couldn’t be true.

Yes, he had told her that he hadn’t exactly been an angel but that? Tabby stared after the woman’s retreating form and tried hard to swallow past the tension in her throat and chest. Not with a girl like that, she told herself. Maybe he’d been with a girl or two but not a girl like that. She couldn’t see him being desperate enough to be with a tramp like that. And lame in bed? Tabby took a breath as she cracked the hint of a smile. That was something Sidney definitely was not.

The girl was just some pathetic, lying little hopeless puck bunny, she told herself as she went back to the SUV and moved it into the garage. She was nothing to worry about. She’d tell Sidney about it later and he’d laugh. They’d both have a good laugh about it and then she’d never worry about it again.

You just have to get used to girls like that, she told herself as she put the vehicle in park and turned off the ignition as she waited for the garage door to close behind her and as it did, she told herself to put it out of her mind. She’s nothing, no one, she told herself as she headed back into the house just as her phone lit up with a text from Sid.

Mtg after practice. Back L8r.Luv u

Tabby smiled and put her phone back in her purse. No, he’d never spend time with a tramp like that she decided once and for all and then shook her head at herself for even thinking he could, even for a minute.

“You had the opportunity to ask questions when you signed the contract. If you weren’t clear on the clause….”

“I was clear,” Sid said for what seemed like the hundredth time. “I just didn’t see myself in this…situation at the time.”

“While I’m sure that’s true, you have to understand that we have a different expectation of the players that the league works exclusively with and that is why you have the benefit of demanding the types of appearance fees that you do.” Sid forced himself to look up from his hands to the two faces staring back at him from Mario’s computer screen, his agent, who, for the moment only raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘I told you so’ and the count from Sesame Street, Gary Bettman. There was a veiled threat behind the smile on the little troll’s face and it took every ounce of will power that Sid had to not rise to it.

“Let’s talk about some options,” Pat suggested and Sid shot him a grateful look.

“If she were to live at another address,” Bettman started to suggest and Sid found himself half way out of his seat and onto his feet, shaking his head, his blood pressure rising quickly.

“Not fucking happening,” Sid growled, even as Mario pushed him back down into the chair.

“Don’t be hasty Sidney,” Mario suggested quietly. “She could live here,” he indicated his vast home that was more like a palace in its’ vast brick splendor. “Natalie and the girls could be a lot of help to her, especially when you’re not in town,” Mario added and it made sense but still Sid shook his head.

“No, no way. I haven’t been without her this long just to have her live somewhere else,” Sidney growled under his breath. He felt Mario’s big hand dig into his shoulder and then he ruffled Sid’s dark hair before returning to his side of his big mahogany desk.

“Well we don’t want to rush you into anything,” Pat continued, “but there’s always a quickie Vegas wedding.” Sid managed a smile but shook his head.

“Not now,” he mumbled, shaking his head again as he returned to staring at the back of his hands, the scars on the back of his knuckles that looked like some kind of bad road map.

“Well that’s a relief,” Bettman interjected and Sid hid a wry smile.

“I do think we can all agree that Sidney has gone above and beyond the call of duty time and again. He’s been at every event, made himself available every time he’s been asked. I think, this once, if we can all keep this to ourselves for the time being, we can deal with this after the season ends,” Mario suggested and again Sidney found himself giving his mentor a grateful smile.

“And if we make an exception once,” Bettman began and Sidney found himself biting his tongue and looking to his agent for help.

“We didn’t make any kind of exception for Patrick Kane,” Bettman looked pleased with himself but Sidney snorted and Mario hid a grin behind his hand.

“Kane is a tool,” Sidney grumbled. “He only cares about money and showgirls.”

“What I think Sidney is trying to say is that he has made himself available on more occasions than any other player and we don’t think that there is any fair comparison with any other player and with that in mind, I believe an exception can be made, don’t you Gary?” Mario gave his best professional smile, the one he’d taught Sid to use on those occasions when you had to hide your true feelings behind a smile to get through the moment. Sid had used it many times since. He’d hardly ever seen Mario use it. “I think we all realize that mistakes happen but that Sid will do the right thing given the opportunity,” Mario added with a quick glance towards his protégé who made himself still and kept his expression bland.

Wellll,” Gary got that uncomfortable smile on his face, the one he got when he was cornered by one of the owners or an unhappy fan. “I think we all have a major investment to protect here gentleman. I think we have to have some assurances that another event like we had today doesn’t happen again before we can put together a plan of attack.” Sid kept his gaze locked on his hands, trying his best to look diffident, but rolled his eyes. The Commissioner made it sound like the President of the United States had just been caught with a transvestite prostitute and they were getting ready for major spin control. Not that a twenty-three year old red blooded male was having a baby with a beautiful, single, available woman.

“I’m not going to ask her to hide in the house,” Sidney said, sitting up and facing the screen, “and I’m not going to ask her to live somewhere else. I’m sorry if this makes some of my investors nervous and I’m sorry if you’re all disappointed in me but I’m not pretending this isn’t happening. If you want me to sign something that foregoes my endorsement payments for six months to charity or something as a fine, whatever, that’s fine, but I’m not going to pretend that I’m not in a relationship.”

The room fell silent and Sid looked across the big desk to Mario for back up and found his mentor smiling back at him, the same sort of smile he got on his face when Austin did something out on the ice that reminded him of himself, made him proud. With a slow nod, Mario turned his gaze back to the screen in front of them.

“I think we have our answer gentleman. It’s a only a few days before Christmas and I don’t think breaking up a family at Christmas is what any of us want to do so I think our part from here on in is to be as supportive as we can and as long as Sid lets us know ahead of time of any of his plans, we can help him make the most informed decisions he can make.” Mario made it sound very final and neither Pat nor Gary so much as uttered another sound before Mario reached forward to hit the appropriate keys to end the video conference.

Sid sat, staring at the blank screen, feeling a little like he’d just won a game in overtime. He felt a little wrung out, but happy with the outcome.

“I’d say you won that round,” Mario leaned his chair back and steepled his fingers as he gazed across the desk. Sid met his gaze with a relieved smile that only wavered a little at the edges as he remembered that he was still going to have to deal with the media about today.

“You’ve always said to stick as close to the truth as possible,” Sidney answered quietly, “and that family comes first.”

“I also told you to always use protection. I’m glad you to hear you at least listen some of the time.”

Curiosity killed the cat, Tabby reminded herself as she surfed yet another website that seemed to be dedicated, for the most part, to slanging Sidney and his teammates as man-whores, male sluts and worse. The boys on the Pens, it seemed, had rather bad reputations.

“Hey sweetheart, I’m home.”

Tabby felt the brush of his lips at the nape of her neck and quickly shut down the site she was looking at before she turned around to watch him launch himself onto the bed, sending her laptop bouncing precariously near the edge of the mattress. Closing her lap top, she slid it beneath the bed before crawling up to join him, curling her body up next to his and laying her head on his chest.

“So, how was your meeting? Mario freaking out about the pk again?” she asked, tracing invisible patterns on his chest with her fingertip.

“Mostly we were talking about you,” he replied, causing her to push herself up on her elbows so she could look him in the eye.

“Me?” Sid smiled slowly, reaching up to brush his fingertips down her cheek until the pad of his thumb came to rest on her bottom lip and then he pulled that down so that she was looked like she felt, a full on pout coming on.

“Yep,” he smiled as she threatened to bite his thumb. “Everyone’s pretty worried about you getting your wicked fingers hooked into me,” he added, lifting himself onto his elbows so he could press his lips to hers’. It wasn’t fair, Tabby thought as he kissed her deeply. It was hard to stay worried about anything when he was kissing her. “I even had to pay a pretty hefty fine because of you,” he continued as they came up for air and at this Tabby grabbed his handsome face in her hands and stared down at him.

“What do you mean you had to pay a fine?”

“It’s called a morals clause,” he replied nonchalantly, almost like he was enjoying her concern. “I mean, we are living in sin and you are pregnant with my love child.” Tabby’s mouth fell open and she blinked at him in disbelief.

“What the fuck is that about? We’re not in the fucking dark ages,” she howled, backing up onto her knees and moving to straddle him, which only made his satisfied grin wider. “Don’t grin at me like that! How can they get away with that? That can’t even be legal.”

“Hey, hey,” he chuckled at her outrage and that made Tabby even angrier, but when she opened her mouth to continue her rampage, he just shook his head at her.

“I don’t care about a million bucks in endorsements. That’s like…I don’t know, a tenth of what I’m gonna make this year. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that they back off, and you’re here and not living at Mario and Nathalie’s,” he explained, reaching for her and placing his hands over the swell of her stomach. “That you and Steven are here with me.” Tabby narrowed her eyes at him and pursed her lips.

“First of all, I like Mario’s place and Nathalie is an absolute sweetheart. And,” she added quickly before he could argue, “and, there is no way this baby is being named Steven.”

“My favorite player was Steve Yzerman,” he explained, but Tabby just shook her head and then went to lean forward, only to be stopped, mid bend, by an unexpected pain that took her breath away for a moment. She stared down at Sidney who stared right back at her, his eyes as wide as hers felt.

“Holy shit! What was that?” he asked, his hands still on her stomach, now with hers’ over top of them.

“A kick, I think,” Tabby replied slowly, moving his hand down to where she could still feel something solid pressed against her insides. She’d felt things, fluttering, wave like motions and what the doctor had termed ‘quickening’ which had felt more like ‘tummy rumbling or bad gas, but this…this was definitely something else. For a long moment nothing happened and Tabby was about to let go of his hand when suddenly there it was again, and this time she was sure of what she felt through both of their hands.

“Holy…wow,” Sid said softly, his gaze riveted to their joined hands, to the spot their son had just given another significant boot to.

“I’d say he’s gonna be a placekicker for the Steelers,” Tabby grinned and Sidney just noted, mutely, before carefully gathering her onto his lap and holding her close. When she leaned in to press her lips to his cheek she tasted salt and found that she was kissing away a tear. “Hey,” she whispered, snuggling close, “what’s this about?”

“I won’t let anyone or anything take you from me. Either of you,” he whispered, holding her tight.

Tabby closed her eyes and let herself melt into his arms. She decided that now wasn’t the time to ask about the strange visitor she’d had earlier and instead concentrated on listening to Sidney’s heart beat in time with hers’, on breathing and this strange new feeling of their son stretching and kicking inside of her.

Family, she thought silently as she felt Sid’s arms tighten around her; our family.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chapter 25

It was easy to forget.

There were so many things that had to be done in a short amount of time, times made shorter by the fact that he could only do them in the few hours he could steal between practice and games and on the very rare off day. But if he wanted to be involved in the choice of basinette and if he wanted to be the one to pick out and put together the changing table, then he had to make the time.

It was a happy time, despite the fact that time seemed to slip through his fingers as he watched Tabby’s stomach grow and stretch. Every day he put his hands on her stomach and every day there seemed to be that much more space between his fingers.

It seemed strange and wonderful to wake up next to a warm body, to hold her in his arms and know that she was his. To come back from a game, worn out to the bone and have someone there to work at the knots in his shoulders, to remind him to eat, to sleep, to forbid him from watching game video over and over and just take his hand and lead him to bed.

Of course it was also that time of the year when there was other kinds of shopping to do, plans to make for that free day they would have for Christmas, when she would meet his family. A day he was dreading and looking forward to all at the same time.
So with so much on his mind, you could forgive him for being forgetful, just for a moment.

He’d wanted her to drive the Land Rover, figured it was safer with a little snow and ice on the ground but it had been her idea to drive him to the rink. It was a widely held belief that Sidney looked forward to practices. The truth was he was just as liable to drag his ass when it came to early morning practices as anyone else and on this particular morning, he was grateful to have someone more attentive at the wheel, which may have been the other reason he didn’t remember.

He forgot about the many pairs of eyes on the vehicle as it passed through the barricades, past the security and down the ramp towards the secured area of the underground parking lot set aside for the players but not entirely apart from the lucky owners of luxury boxes and their guests. He forgot to be coy and to play the role of the sullen single bachelor boy, of the focused professional on his way into work.

Instead he let his lips linger on hers’ as they parted, his gaze holding hers’ a little longer than it should have if he’d remembered where he was at that particular moment. But he didn’t. Not until he stepped out of the vehicle and instead of the usual screams, instead of hearing his name called out and hearing it echo against the concrete around him, Sid found himself surrounded by utter silence and he knew, with a twisting of his gut that he’d been caught.

It felt like the time his mom had opened the door and caught him red handed pulling his pud, Penthouse in hand. He found himself glancing around furtively, his face hot and bright red, his ears burning despite the fact that he was also telling himself furiously that he had every right in the world to have a girlfriend, that damn near every guy on the team did and no one ever made a big deal about that.

And yet he knew, without a singular doubt in his mind that it didn’t matter about anyone else. It mattered about him and only him. Even if he thought it was unfair, it was still true and no amount of bitching and moaning on his behalf was going to change that fact.

Sidney glanced up the tunnel towards the gaggle of girls and autograph seekers and saw their wide open eyes staring back at him, their slack jaws and then the silence ended, just like that and was immediately replaced by a buzzing that sounded like he’d walked near a beehive. He watched them turning to one another, speculating behind their hands, pointing, talking about him. They weren’t even subtle about it, he thought gloomily dolefully as he hung his head and turned on his heel to head into the building.

There’d be buzz on the net before the game even started, of that he was sure, thanks to face-book and twitter and other so called social media that he probably wasn’t even aware of. By the time the game was over there might even be those kinds of fuzzy, indistinct pictures that while, he could hope, wouldn’t be clear enough to make out details, would be clear enough to confirm that yes there was a woman driving his SUV and yes, he’d been kissing her.

It would be enough to have Troy calling and reading him the riot act and worse than that, have the Commissioner on the phone, threatening to enforce the privacy clause in his contract, fine him or worse, force him into a press conference and parade Tabby in front of the media and that…that he wasn’t willing to stand by and let happen. It was one thing to casually date a girl and have her torn to shreds by puck bunnies on the internet but it was quite another thing to have the kind of Monday Morning Quaterbacks that made up the majority of the Sport media ogling the mother of his child.

With a heavy sigh and a rise and fall of his shoulders, Sidney dug out his blackberry and plugged in the speed dial number for his agent. Pat would know what to do.


“You’ve definitely gone up in the world. Nice wheels.”

Tabby frowned as she flipped the page of the wallpaper sample book she was currently browsing and glanced up, half expecting to see her friend waving at her.

“I don’t get it. How do you know what I’m driving?” she asked and heard Mel snort on the other end of the line.

“Wow…how many times have I said you are so out of touch by not being on Facebook?” Tabby rolled her eyes and pushed the book forward, thereby removing the temptation to continue looking through it and forcing herself to concentrate on what Mel was trying to say.

“Yeah, yeah. And how many times have I told you that I don’t want to make it easy for my ex boyfriends to stalk my ass? So again, I’ll ask, how is it that you know what I’m driving? Or are you just guessing and trying to make me paranoid?” Twice already Tabby had looked up from one of the decorating books she was looking through at the hardware store to find girls giggling behind their hands and staring at her like she was some kind of bearded lady in a freak show. “As if I’m not already being driven insane by hormones, thanks,” she added, making a face as yet another wave of heart burn sent her diving into her purse looking for Rolaids.

“I know some people might find it cute that you’re naïve honey but seriously, now that your main squeeze is basically a teen heart throb, you might want to get yourself a fucking twitter account, okay?” Tabby’s paused, mid search and withdrew her hand from her purse so she could switch her phone to her other ear, grab her purse and, with a surreptitious glance around, head out into the parking lot.

“What are you talking about?” she hissed into the phone as she pulled the keys to Sidney’s Land Rover out of her jacket pocket.

“About you, being on like, every social networking site about hockey players right now,” Mel informed her calmly, as if it was an everyday occurrence.

“Are there a lot of those?” Tabby asked as another wave of nausea hit her that had nothing to do with being pregnant and everything to do with the world of being a Wag something she was still learning about and what she’d learned so far…mostly she didn’t like.

“Define a lot?” Mel mused and Tabby knew by her tone that it wasn’t a question. It was just more of what Mel considered punishment for her lack of social awareness. “Seriously, you have a laptop or something around there?”

“No, I’m in the car,” Tabby grumbled as she pressed her forehead to the steering wheel. “Just tell me.”

“Well, I guess it could be worse,” Mel began and Tabby grimaced. Her friend was sounding way too amused for it to be good news. “I mean, his tongue is definitely down your throat but at least he’s not grabbing your tit or something.”

Grrrreat,” Tabby sighed out loud, squeezing her eyes tight against the bile rising in her throat. She’d been warned, by Michelle Cooke, by Vero, and a couple of the other well meaning Wags that though some of them did suffer a certain of ridicule on the internet for merely breathing, when, not if, her identity became widely known she was certain to receive death threats. “So it’s definitely me? I mean you’re sure?”

“I hope you’re not suggesting that hot boyfriend of yours is cheating on you already!” Mel exclaimed and then laughed, as if the mere suggestion of his infidelity was absurd which sent a shiver of portent down Tabby’s spine. She couldn’t help but remember the way that both Michelle and Vero had admitted, without so much as batting an eyelash, that infidelity was not only a real possibility, but something to be accepted. The idea of it still gave Tabby a major case of the ‘heebie-jeebies’. “Yeah it’s you chickie, but then I bought you that shirt, so I’d know,” Mel pointed out, which helped Tabby to relax, if only momentarily.

“And what else?” Tabby asked, leaning back against the leather seat and staring out at the gloomy, dark grey sky. “What are they saying? I mean, I’m assuming they’re talking about how ugly I am and….”

“No, Ruby Gloom, they aren’t…yet,” Mel added and Tabby was certain she could hear a smirk on her friend’s lips. “I’m sure they will but who the fuck cares? You’re the one banging his brains out. Am I right?” Tabby managed the ghost of a smile at this and let out a sigh.

“I know I was supposed to expect it and I guess I should be glad I’m not exactly at the point where I’m attracting small moons into my orbit but…it’s weird…I never thought of being watched,” Tabby grumbled, rubbing at the ache that had just begun in her ribs.

“Well it’s kinda like being a celeb. I mean, not Lady GaGa or anything,” Mel laughed.

“I don’t want to be like Brangelina,” Tabby moaned, “I just want to be with the man that…,” a lump formed in her throat as she thought of the way Sidney had held her hand and kissed her before he got out of the car. It made her heart skip a beat every time he told her that he loved her. “I want to be with the man love,” she finished, in time to hear Mel gagging at the other end of the line.

“I’m sure Sid will know how to handle it. Hey, maybe you’ll have like a whole crew, a bunch of gorillas to protect you. That would be cool,” Mel laughed but Tabby didn’t. It sounded too much like a possibility.



“The best thing to do is get in front of it,” Pat insisted but Sidney just shook his head.

“I’m not discussing my private life with Ron McLean or anyone else. That’s why they call it a private life, because it’s none of their fucking business.” Sid paced the dressing room, his teeth grinding as thought about having to sit in front of a camera and explain why he was ‘living in sin’ as his agent had just so succinctly put it. After all, that hadn’t been his choice. If he’d been given a choice….

“You have to remember this isn’t just about you Sid. This is about your girlfriend too. I don’t want to speak for her but I can imagine I’d rather have the truth out there than a lot of lies and speculation.” Sidney stopped pacing and pinched the bridge of his nose. He was developing a migraine, mostly because he knew Pat was right. This wasn’t just about him and it wasn’t even just about Tabs anymore. The kid was going to grow up and he didn’t want his son surfing the internet and finding who knows what kind of lies about his mother.

“You’re right. I fucking hate it, but you’re right and the CBC is probably the most professional way to go with it. Just…just let me fucking break it to Tabs before we put anything in stone,” he sighed and began pacing again.

“There’s just one thing we’re going to have to address before we go public with this,” Pat’s tone made it clear that whatever he was about to say, Sid wasn’t going to like it. So he sat down on the bench and pressed his forehead into his hand.

“I think the cat’s kinda out of the bag, don’t you?” Sid grumbled.

“Yeah, but you have a certain…,” Pat paused and Sid knew it wasn’t for dramatic effect. He really wasn’t going to like what was coming next. “You’ve got that clause in your promotional contract with the league.”

“Aaaah fuck.” He could see the clause in his mind’s eye, the fine print. It hadn’t seemed like such a big deal when he’d just been turning eighteen and still had a healthy fear of women in general and puck bunnies in particular. He’d never imagined himself being in the position where a morals clause would even come up. He hardly ever touched Sudafed, never mind recreational drugs and he’d always been careful about using protection…until Tabby and then that whole mess afterwards….

“I’m sorry to bring it up kiddo but I think we’ll need to address it with the league before you sit down with Ron.” Sidney’s stomach sank and his shoulders slumped. That would mean a call to Bettman and that was going to be worse than telling Troy. Ten times worse.

“I will,” he promised with a sigh. “After I talk to Tabs…I will, I promise.”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chapter 24

Back from holidays, I thought I'd better stay up til the witching hour to give you a little somethin' somethin' to chew on til I can work on more. Thanks for your patience as always.

It turned out Mel and Trina weren’t far off when they said that the Wags stuck together. Veronique and Michelle Cooke met Tabby at the airport with hugs and big smiles. They made sure her things went directly to the house, while in the mean time, they took her out for lunch to a little Italian place that the boys apparently frequented.

“This will be the first and last time you get to order for yourself,” Michelle warned her and Tabby felt herself staring at the petite blonde beauty and her piercing blue eyes, waiting for an explanation.

“They have a ‘family dinner’,” Veronique explained, “which is a big bowl of spaghetti and a bowl of meat sauce and a lot of bread. This is what they order all the time,” she added with a grin.

“And they eat all that?” Tabby asked, pitching her voice low as the waiter passed by, giving them that glance that told her that lunch was not all day and he’d like them to get to ordering.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed how much they eat?” Michelle asked, raising her eyebrows and Tabby had to concede that she did know exactly how much they could eat. Tabby settled on a Conchiglie Frutti di Mare while the other two women ordered conchiglie mona lisa and penne Capri. The waiter took their orders and then brought out a chilled bottle of champagne.

“Oh I can’t…,” Tabby began but Michelle was already pouring it into her glass.

“One glass can’t hurt and believe me, this is a celebration,” Michelle grinned at her.

“Oui!” Veronique agreed wholeheartedly as she held up her glass. “When my Marc told me that Sidney was seriously seeing someone during the summer, I was thrilled, but now, avec le bébé sur le chemin….” Veronique lapsed into silence and just looked at Tabby her hand held to her chest. “We could not be more happy for the both of you.”

“What Vero’s trying to say,” Michelle touched her glass to Veronique’s and then to Tabby’s before taking a long sip, “is that the boy is in desperate need of some balance – off ice. So we’re glad he’s finally found someone. We were all beginning to wonder,” Matt’s gorgeous wife added with a wink before downing the rest of her glass and then pouring herself some more.

“Wonder?” Tabby looked from one woman to the other and then back to Michelle for explanation.

“Oh c’mon, single, good looking, neat, tidy, very private…?” Michelle raised a single, perfectly shaped eyebrow and stared back at her. Tabby’s mouth fell open before she began to blush furiously. ‘As if’, she thought. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Oh well, that’s good to know anyway,” Michelle laughed and touched her glass to Veronique’s with a ‘ching’.

“You have to understand, our boys have…oh how can I say this without scaring you?” Veronique began when Tabby had her blood pressure and general temperature under control enough to meet the dark haired beauty’s gaze. “Our men have appétit très sain…ummm…?” she looked to Michelle for help and confirmation and with one quick look around to see if anyone was close enough to overhear, Michelle leaned towards Tabby.

“What Vero is trying to say politely is that our men have huge sexual energy and they need to burn it off on a regular basis. That’s why so many of us end up with half a dozen kids,” she added with a wicked grin. “And, to be honest, they’re not the most faithful men in the world.” Tabby began to say that she couldn’t imagine Sidney’s thoughts straying, let alone his actions but she bit down on her bottom lip and kept silent. Just because when he was with her he made her feel like she was the only woman in the entire world didn’t necessarily mean he couldn’t use those same charms on any other woman, and that thought made her shoulders sag. “Oh don’t look like that,” Michelle’s bright smile made it hard to maintain her own frown but some of the gild had definitely gone off of the lily as Tabby met her sky blue eyes. “Just because he has the occasional roll in the hay with some ignorant little bitch puck bunny doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.”

Tabby nodded but the smile on her face was forced. She loved him, with all of her heart. She’d moved to a strange city for him and even though these two women seemed nice, she really didn’t know anyone here. To top all of it off, she was pregnant, with his child and she didn’t think she was going to be able to compete with the likes of some of the girls she’d seen hanging around the arena, at least not for a while.

She was glad the food came and she was able to chew on something while she moped and tried not to think about the decision she’d made and how it might have been in haste.

Sid tossed his bag aside, onto the tile floor, as he walked in the front door. The house was waiting silently for him, as always, dark, cool and still except that this hadn’t been the welcome he’d been expecting tonight.

Tossing his keys into the dish on the top of the side table at the bottom of the stairs, he made his way up them, his footsteps echoing loudly in the still mostly empty house. He hadn’t done much decorating since he’d moved into the big house in September so a lot of the rooms still stood empty. Like the dining room, which he walked through, with its light fixture hanging over an empty space where a table should be, where he should be holding dinners with his friends and family. Where he would if….

The kitchen was the only room he had renovated, putting in new cherry cabinets and brand new stainless steel appliances. He turned on the light and something else that was obviously new caught his eye as he opened the refrigerator door. His gaze followed the hand painted border around the top of the wall, cheerful looking fruits, vegetables and cheeses in muted colours, looking for all the world as if they had been painted a hundred years ago and were now fading. A smile tugged at his lips as he chugged down half a bottle of water before turning off the light in the kitchen and heading down the hall.

The only light on in the house was in one of the empty bedrooms. Or at least it had been empty and still in primer white when he’d left to go on the road trip. He stood in the doorway now, admiring the sky blue colour on the walls dotted with fluffy looking white clouds, atop which sat any number of recognizable characters like Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Daffy Duck, Bambi, the Cheshire Cat, Peter Pan and Pinocchio. There wasn’t a single Snow White, Tinkerbelle or Ariel in sight. There was, however, Tabby, standing on a step ladder, wearing one of his dress shirts with the arms rolled up to the elbows, and her long, shapely legs bare.

Sidney licked his lips and smiled. He really did like the way she wore his shirts.
He opened his mouth to call out to her, the idea of saying ‘honey I’m home’ appealed to him, but the words died on his tongue as he looked up at what she was painting on the ceiling. It was another of those clouds, with three figures on it: Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and…and his own likeness, in his gold medal winning Canadian uniform with a stick in his hand instead of a cutlass and his gold medal around his neck. It was made of real gold foil, like the kind that comes off of the chocolate medallions in the Pirate Packs at White Spot.

“I want our son to know his dad’s a hero too,” she said aloud, without so much as turning around.

“So you’re sure it’s a boy?” he asked, crossing the distance between them and placing a soft kiss to the smooth skin at the back of her knee. It made her squirm, but he had a firm hold on her and gently took her down from her perch to place her feet firmly on the floor.

“Even if it’s a girl, and I still don’t think it is,” she grinned at him as he turned her around. “I still want her to know that I think her daddy is just as handsome and just as brave as any old pirate, even Johnny Depp.”

“Arrgh.” He growled, hoping he sounded something like a pirate. She laughed as she looked down at him but his funny bone didn’t seem to be working. He pressed his lips over hers’ in a long, hard kiss, then he took the brush out of her hand and her paint palette too, dropping them carelessly on the floor before picking her up off of her feet again. He carried her out of the room with his mouth still clamped firmly over hers, looking for the nearest dry surface to press her up against.

She wasn’t wearing any panties. He’d known it as soon as he’d gone to kiss the tender, smooth spot behind her knee, but with her legs clamped around his waist he became painfully aware that her smooth, warm skin was there, just on the other side of his pants just beneath his yellow dress shirt. That made things worse as his brain went racing ahead, his imagination that had already been painting pictures of what her pussy looked and tasted like during the entire flight, making his dick harder as he thought about her slick pink folds, gleaming with her juices, warm and inviting.

She moaned as he pressed himself against her, his belt buckle doing the work his fingers wanted to be doing as he held her against the wall, his hands cupping her ass, lifting her so that he could reach down and undo his zipper to work himself free. She gasped as he pressed himself into her, lowered her down onto his throbbing erection.

She wasn’t ready, not quite, but she didn’t ask him to stop either. Not that he was sure that he could. He’d been thinking about this moment for the entire flight. He’d even had to slip into the bathroom, jerking off hard and fast as he thought about her full, red lips around his cock, her pink tongue sweeping around the head of his dick, licking off the last drop of cum and smiling up at him as she said ‘welcome home’.

He used his chin and his teeth to pull a button free from the shirt she was wearing, pushing the fabric aside so that he could nuzzle her breasts, his mouth finding her nipples, hard little nibs of sensitive flesh that, when he sucked them into his mouth, made her gasp and dig her fingers into his hair. His tongue swept wetly around those pink little pebbles and his lips closed over them, enjoying the taste of her ivory clean skin and the feel of those little bumps beneath his tongue as they stiffened for him.

She whimpered and her fingernails dug into the back of his neck, but it was the warm slick feeling of her pussy walls pulsating around his cock that was his reward. She was ready now and he slid his cock almost entirely free of her tight little hole before jamming it back home again, thrusting himself balls deep inside of her and ripping a high, faltering cry from her lips.

For a moment, he thought he’d gone too far, that he’d hurt her but her thighs clenched around his waist and her heels dug into the backs of his thighs and he took both of those as signs to continue, to use his hands to pull her up and push her down onto his rod. She buried her head into his shoulder and made those little noises, the ones he’d first heard her make in the summer, and those sounds, idiosyncratic to her, egged him on. Not that he particularly needed encouragement at that point. Just having her in his arms, having her in his house, for real, was enough.

He felt her teeth sinking into his neck and he knew, just by the feel of it, that the bite would leave a mark and the guys were going to give him the gears about it in practice tomorrow but for now, the pain was sweet and heightened his arousal. He slammed into her, heard the breath driven from her lungs in a rush of air, and he felt the swell of her stomach around their child and something in his brain told him to take it down a notch, pull back, but the other part of his brain was beyond listening to reason. The red haze had fallen behind his eyes and he was like a jack hammer, his cock pulling out and forcing itself inside, forcing her pussy walls wider and wider, almost to the point of tearing and he knew, he was almost sure, that he was hurting her and still he couldn’t stop and still she never asked him to.

Instead she whispered things in his ear, worse than just ‘harder’ or ‘fuck me’. His brain couldn’t really make sense of the words but he thought that he should be shocked, that those kinds of things shouldn’t come out of the mouth of the mother of his child. The other part of his brain, however, the animal part that still wanted to punish her for leaving him, for not being at the door to welcome him home in an apron, thought it was fucking great that she wanted his fat fucking cock in her dripping fucking pussy.

“Do you want it harder, bitch?” he hissed, letting the wall and one hand hold her long enough to grab a handful of her hair so he could pull her head back, so he could look into her beautiful dark eyes. They flashed, maybe a warning, maybe he was imagining it, but again, he couldn’t think about it enough to really care. All he knew was that her lips spread over her teeth in a grin that reminded him so much of the Joker from Batman, the one that dead guy played, the last one as he walked away from that hospital in his nurses gown, half crazy, half deadly.

“I don’t think you have it in you,” she growled, one of her hands sliding down from his neck, over his shoulder, down his chest. She looked him straight in the eye and grinned as she gave one of his nipples a hard twist. It hurt, gods but it fucking hurt, but it also took his brain somewhere, brought him close to the place where he could feel his balls tucking up tight, felt every single nerve and fiber in his body burning.

With a growl that was born of both frustration and feral longing, he forced her lips down onto his and kissed her, their teeth mashing, their tongues dueling outside of their mouths as he pressed his body against hers’ until there was no room for even air between them. He jammed his cock into her, over and over until he felt her entire body go rigid around him. Not just her pussy, though it squeezed around his dick and sucked at it, as if it alone could pull him deeper into her. Her mouth pulled back from his and her head hit the wall, her eyes rolling back in her head, her mouth falling open as she screamed.

The neighbors were going to think that he was fucking killer her.

He fought the urge to cover her mouth with his hand. That might have scared her, and besides the way he had her forced against the wall, one hand was pinned behind her shoulder and the other was holding her ass and even if he’d tried to he probably couldn’t have done it in time to stop her. Still it scared him enough to forget, momentarily, that he too was at the edge. He found himself staring at her, at the way her skin seemed pinker than usual, at the fine sheen of sweet on her forehead and at the way her pupils seemed almost too huge to be real.

She was beautiful. Not in the high school cheerleader sort of way. Not even in the Miss USA sort of way. Neither of those kinds of beauties were very real or lasting anyway, he thought as he held himself still while her body shook and shuddered against his. No, Tabby was that girl that scared the cheerleaders and stood up for the freaks and the geeks. She had a dangerous kind of beauty about her. The kind that let you know she could and would kick your ass, but maybe you’d like it. And he did, he decided as she came back to herself and turned those demon dark eyes down to meet his gaze.

“Told you that you didn’t have it,” she purred, her hand sliding up the back of his head, her fingers grabbing a hold of what little hair there was there and yanking, just as he head, forcing his head back so that she could cover his mouth with hers’. She bit his bottom lip hard enough that he could taste the metallic tang of blood on his tongue as he reached for hers’.

With a grunt, he threw himself into her, once, twice, three times and the world went star filter and there was nothing but her lips and her dark eyes and that tightening of his balls as they emptied into her in strong, almost painful pulsations as his dick alternatively squeezed and released as he shot his load deep into her honey pot.

She was crying out again, her nails digging painfully into his scalp as her spine bowed but he couldn’t make the words form to ask her to stop. All he could utter, it seemed, was a long, seemingly never ending list of curse words; each filthier than the last until he could barely speak at all. His strength gone, they slid, together to the floor where he cradled her body against his as they waited for their hearts to beat normally again.

“Welcome home,” she whispered into the crook of his neck. Sidney smiled and felt one of those giggles that the guys bugged him endlessly about, erupt from his mouth and while she stared at him in confusion, he lay there on the floor of his hallway and laughed until tears flowed down his cheeks.