Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chapter 23

The boys mostly looked a little worse for wear when they joined them for breakfast. It was a good thing it was a travel day or they’d have heard about it from Disco Dan. Sid was tired, but the good sort of tired that had left him feeling relaxed if a little bone weary. He raised the hand he was holding to his lips before pulling out a chair for her beside Flower because Flower won’t say anything crass or derogatory. Flower is safe and he’s sitting as far from Max and Tanger as Sidney can get her.

“Comment sont les deux tourtereaux, ce matin?” he asked as he reached for the pitcher of orange juice in the middle of the table and began pouring it in her glass.

“Just a little, thanks,” she held up her hand to make him stop pouring, “that stuff gives me the worst heartburn these days,” she added by way of explanation. Flower nodded and then poured a full glass for Sid who promptly chugged it down. He was low on fluids. A pint down as Mario would say with one of those knowing smiles.

“Speaking of lovebirds,” Tabby leaned towards Flower, her voice pitched low. “Has anyone seen my friends?”

MAF laughed suddenly and both Sid and Tabby followed his gaze towards where Tabby’s slightly shorter friend was sitting between Gogo and Johnny, chatting animatedly while the two teammates, sitting either side of her, were giving each other that more than slightly uncomfortable look that said they’d seen and done too much together, but neither of them seemed willing to leave her either, both listening intently, reaching for juice or salt or whatever the bubbly brunette wanted. Tabby snorted and shook her head.

“And you’re other friend,” Duper interjected, passing Sidney a freshly buttered multigrain roll, “left a little while ago. She said to tell you…,” he paused and stared into space for a moment before an amused smile grew on his face. “Oh yeah, that she’s sorry that she forgot the keys to the handcuffs and not to leave without calling her.”

Even covering her mouth with her hand didn’t stop Tabby from sending a spray of orange juice across the table. Sidney shook his head and reached for a napkin, dapping at the orange droplets while rolling his eyes at her.

“Has anyone gone up to see if Jordan needs some help?” she asked sheepishly.

“Cookie’s already called a cop he knows,” Duper grinned, offering her a chocolate chip muffin, which she accepted greedily, ripping the top off of it and taking a large bite out of it. “So, what are you two going to do? Is she coming with us for the rest of the road trip or are you sending her straight back to the Burgh?” Tabby raised an eyebrow at Sidney, which he took to mean she didn’t appreciate being talked about as if she wasn’t there or wasn’t part of the equation.

Of course they had talked about, in the wee hours of the morning, but they hadn’t come to any decisions. Sidney understood her reluctance to move so far from her friends and family, considering her condition and classes she’s already paid for. On the other hand, he had absolutely zero intention of leaving her behind.

“I’ll be meeting you guys in Pittsburgh,” Tabby answered quietly, and Sidney felt her reach for his hand under the table. He turned and searched her face. She met his curious gaze with one of her half smiles. He mouthed the words ‘are you sure?’ to her and she nodded, giving his hand a firm squeeze. “I mean, I hear there’s nothing but video game consoles and stinky hockey gear in this house of his,” she added for the benefit of the boys at the table, “so I guess you’d better leave your credit card with me. After all, we’ve got a nursery to set up.”

“Are you sure you have time for this?” Tabby asked as the cab pulled up in front of her parents’ house. Her stomach was doing crazy cartwheels and it was only the feel of Sidney’s hand around hers’ that was stopping her from telling the taxi driver to turn around and go back the direction they’d come from.

“I’ve got about an hour,” he replied, checking his watch again, “but I think if I’m going to steal their little girl away, the least I can do is introduce myself,” he added, leaning across her to look up at the seventies split level with the dual carport and the five year old Honda Accord in the driveway. “So, do you think your dad will get out the shotgun?”

“It isn’t my dad you have to worry about,” Tabby grinned, pushing the door open and stepping out onto the grass. “It’s my brother, and he’s kinda like Cookie. By the time he’s using his fists, you’re so pissed already you can’t see straight.” Sid rolled his eyes as she pulled him out of the car. He was wearing a dark, charcoal colored suit with light blue pinstripes and a matching blue shirt and tie. Her mother was going to be impressed.

Her brother, on the other hand….

Darrel was already at the door and he was wearing an expression on his face that she knew well; the protective brother. The ‘I’ll kick your ass and like it’ look. It wasn’t hard to imagine that Sid had likely seen and faced worse. Still, she felt his hand tighten around hers’ as they walked up the driveway.

“So, you’re the dick who knocked up my sister.” It was Tabby’s turn to roll her eyes as her little brother held his hand out towards Sidney, who stared down at it, probably half expecting it to be withdrawn the moment he put his out. To his credit, her little brother didn’t draw it back and laugh, he actually shook Sid’s hand when it was offered.

“I am,” Sid replied, those creases she so loved around his eyes deepening as he smiled. “Which I guess makes you the Uncle huh?”

“Yep,” Darrel replied, puffing up his chest and looking every inch the proud and protective Uncle. “Which means I get first dibs on totally kicking your ass if you so much as hurt my sister’s feelings,” he added in a threatening tone as he moved aside to let them in. Tabby felt Sidney stiffen, but he didn’t react. She wondered how many years of having guys threaten to kick your ass it took before you could be as cool as a cucumber when someone was threatening your life.

Having said his piece, Darrel lead the way upstairs where Tabby was shocked to see her parents standing like mannequins, watching her with guarded eyes. Her father was even wearing a tie. Now it was Tabby’s turn to brace herself. She felt Sidney’s grip tighten ever so slightly on her hand before he let it go, holding his hand out first to her dad and then to her mother, who, instead of taking his hand pulled him into a bear hug.

Was that relief on her mother’s face? Tabby rolled her eyes at her brother who was smirking at her from behind her father’s back. Of course it was, she decided. Their daughter had been summarily saved from a life as a single mother, which, she realized, let her parents off the hook, financially speaking. That, and they were welcoming a millionaire into their home and that alone had probably put a smile on her mother’s face.

“That was quite a game last night,” her father began and Darrel made another face as Tabby did her best to chew on the inside of her lip rather than nervously laughing at the idea of her father trying to make small talk.

“Yes sir. The Canucks are always a tough opponent,” Sidney answered as if he was talking to a reporter in the dressing room. It seemed, however, to be the right answer as her father smiled and nodded.

“So, you’re off to LA,” her father noted as he ushered them all into the living room.

“Well, the team is. I mean yes, I’m going with the team but Tabs,” Sidney reached for her hand and brought it over to his knee and she couldn’t help but smile to himself. He was taking ownership and maybe it was a little comforting too. “Tabby’s agreed to fly to Pittsburgh and move in to my house.” Tabby snuck a look at her father from beneath her bangs and saw him wince, just slightly, but enough that she noticed the tic at the corner of his jaw. She was, after all, daddy’s little girl.

“That’s quite a decision to make overnight,” her mother pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows at both of them. Tabby opened her mouth to tell her mother to stuff it but Sidney smiled warmly and gave Tabby’s hand a firm squeeze.

“Well if things had worked out the way I’d wanted them to,” he said quietly with a quick glance toward Tabby, “I think she would have already been there.” Tabby felt her heart swell in her chest until it was literally impossible to breathe as his melted milk chocolate gaze held hers. He smiled, but it was only for her and she felt as if they could have been sitting along the Seine instead of her parents’ living room. He had a knack for that, for making her feel like she was his entire world and nothing else mattered.

“Well I’ll still kill you, even if I have to get on a plane to do it.” Darrel ruined the perfect moment and Tabby shot him her most withering glare but as usual, it only served to make her younger sibling misbehave even more. “Of course if you want to set me up with some of those puck bunnies I see dressed up in those wedding dresses at the game, I guess I could let you get in a slap or two.”

“Believe me, you don’t want anything to do with those girls,” Sid laughed, all dimples and teeth while Tabby shook her head. “But you’ll be welcome to visit, any time. All of you,” he added, taking in her parents and her brother. “Just say the word and I’ll make it happen. No expense to you of course,” he added, to clarify Tabby thought, and maybe just a little to set her parents at ease. “I mean, I know Tabs will probably want you there in a few months,” he continued, turning his attention back to her and raising the back of her hand to his lips and pressing them down gently on her knuckles. “I know I’ll need someone to help me with the diapers.”

Tabby knew it was a lie, that he’d changed plenty when his younger sister was born, with their having such disparate ages, but she appreciated the white lie nonetheless. Her mother beamed at the idea of being wanted and needed and probably at the idea of being flown out first class if not in a private jet.

“I hope you know how luck you are young lady,” her father finally turned his attention back to his daughter and Tabby nodded, her gaze holding Sidney’s, letting him see just exactly how lucky she thought she was. “You landed on your feet, but he doesn’t have to do the right thing. In my day there would definitely have been some pressure to get to the alter….” Tabby shot her father a dark look, giving a quick shake of her head to silence him. The fact that Sidney had owned up to being the father before insisting on DNA evidence was enough.

“I know how lucky I am sir,” Sidney answered quietly, his gaze still holding hers’, making her blush with its’ intensity, with the intimacy of having him look at her that way in front of her family. “And I intend to do the right thing,” Sidney added, his other hand reaching for hers’. His thumbs stroked the back of her hands and she thought she felt his hands shake and suddenly she thought she felt as if she’d misunderstood the plea she had seen in his eyes.

“Sidney has to go,” she grinned at him, giving his hands a squeeze before standing up and pulling him with her. He had the presence of mind to shake his head and look as if he was going to argue with him but she understood. This was a little much, her dad practically trying to get the poor guy to ask her to marry him as if anyone really cared about whether a kid was born in or out of wedlock these days. She let go of Sidney’s hands and went over to hug her mother and then her father before turning towards her brother. “And as for you, troublemaker,” she grinned as he picked her up off of her feet and pulled her into a rib crushing, spine cracking hug. “Look after mom and dad for me,” she whispered.

“Get a room ready for me in that big fucking house, I’m coming down there to chase puck bunnies,” her brother replied, laughing as he set her back down on her feet.

“It’s a deal,” she promised, turning as she felt Sidney’s hand on her shoulder. “Ready?” she asked and he nodded. Taking his hand, she turned and found that her eyes began to fill as her parents stood watching them, their arms around each other. She gave a little wave and then tugged Sidney down the stairs without looking back.


This sucked.

He had just found her again and then he’d had to kiss her goodbye at the airport. He told himself it was only going to be for a few days, but that did nothing to alleviate his currently very black mood. Not only had he got her back and lost her in just over twenty four hours , but it had been the second time that he’d had his grandmother’s ring in his pocket and every intention of using it, only to have her blow the big moment.

Sid swore under his breath and slammed his stick against the boards, making a kid in the first row jump back from the glass with a high pitched squeal.

“Nice! That kid will be selling his Crosby jersey on e-bay later,” Jordy laughed, grabbing a puck off of the ice and tossing it over the boards to the kid who then looked back at them both with huge, saucer-like eyes. “What’s with you tonight? I thought you’d be gliding around, doing triple axles ‘n shit.”

“I’m not asking her, ever again,” Sid muttered, half under his breath but Jordan hears it all the same and laughs.

“So did you actually ask her this time or did she head you off at the pass again?” the big forward asked, arching a single eyebrow and barely concealing one of those smiles that shouted ‘gotcha’.

“You asked her?” Max slid to a stop beside where they were standing, sending spray up the glass.

“No…not exactly, no,” Sid admitted with a shrug, “but I was going to and she blew me off.”

“So you had the ring out and she told you to put it away?” Max asked with an expression on his face that said he knew damn well that he hadn’t even got the ring out. He didn’t even answer, he just glared at his friend.

“You’ll ask her, really ask her, probably soon,” Jordan interjected, also earning himself a dark look.

“Nope, I won’t,” he disagreed, shaking his head.

“Yeah, look how fast you got her back in bed,” Max pointed out.

“Me? You mean how fast she did,” he growled.

“You keep telling yourself that,” Jordan laughed and patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll remind you some time about this and you’ll laugh.” He didn’t wait for a reply, Jordan just shook his head and skated away, laughing.

“You’ve been a fucking mess mon ami. Ne soyez pas si pressé de sortir tout a là façon…” Sid shook his head and gave Max a firm push.

“Don’t tell me how to feel and for fuck’s sakes don’t fucking tell me to slow the fuck down.” Max nodded and shrugged, then held his hand up in front of his mouth and twisted his fingers like a key in a lock and then tossed it away.

“C’est ta vie, mon ami, si tu le rate ne nous blâmez pas,” Max grinned that ‘you’re gonna be sorry’ grin and Sid shook his head, sighing.

“You’re not even in a relationship, why in the hell should I listen to you?” he asked and Max merely shrugged and kept grinning.

“Do you deny that Uncle Max knows more about the gentler sex than you mon ami?” Sid couldn’t deny it. Max was a certified player. He probably had a different girl every night and none of them seemed to hate him afterwards. It was a mystery that Sid had often wondered about.

“Okay, so what? Go ahead, impart your goddamn wisdom,” Sid grumbled as he followed Max towards the bench.

“All I will say is this,” Max began as they slowed to a stop and leaned against the half wall, reaching for water bottles. “It’s a good thing you didn’t get to ask her. She would probably have said no.” The way he said it was so matter of fact that Sid didn’t feel he could argue with him but he stared at him nonetheless. “As much as I think you missed your era mon ami, this is not the fifties, oui? You don’t have to marry a girl just because elle est dans la façon dont la famille. In fact, having met your girl, I would think if you did ask her now, she would think you were only asking her parce-qu’elle est le bec and she would have said no.”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” Sidney’s chest tightened at the thought of her turning him down and he found that suddenly he wasn’t angry or disappointed anymore. He was relieved. “You really think she would have said no?”

“Que pétard?” Tanger joined them at the bench and hung over the wall from the other side. “Mais oui, bien sûr. And she would probably be mad too,” Tanger laughed, that dirty sounding laugh that only the guys from Québec could muster. “But the make-up sex…peut-être vaut la peine!”

“You’ve had a lucky escape, mon capitaine,” Max patted his shoulder and then gave Sid’s arm a punch. “The time will come and you’ll know when it’s right but just enjoy her now you know? Il n’est pas nécessaire de se précipiter dans quoi que ce soit.”

“I can’t believe you left Jordan handcuffed to the bed,” Tabby chuckled as Trina completed her story about her night. Her friends were helping her pack.

“Look, what I did was vanilla compared to little miss kinky pants over there,” Trina coughed a word behind her hands that sounded a lot like ‘slut’, but it didn’t go anywhere near erasing the grin that had been permanently affixed to Mel’s face for the entire day.

“Sticks and stone,” Mel sang as she folded one of Tabby’s cocktail dresses over her arm and carefully added it to the growing pile on the bed, “but I got to sleep with two hot hockey players, not just one. So pfttth.” Mel stuck her pierced tongue towards them both and Trina and Tabby just shook their heads.

“Weren’t both of them married?” Tabby tried to remember the list of players she had been trying to memorize, along with the names of their wives and significant others. She was pretty sure the back-up goalie was married but the other one….
“Yeah, yeah. So?” Mel beamed at them both.

“You really have no morals do you?” Trina shuddered and went back to rooting through Tabby’s underwear drawer, which in and of itself, was disturbing. However, as she had been quick to point out she probably was never going to wear a thing or g-string again and then it was Tabby’s turn to shudder. Had he actually called them ‘granny panties’?

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Tabby sat down suddenly as tears filled her eyes. “You guys were supposed to help with this and now I’m going all the way to some shitty city where I don’t know anyone and….” She couldn’t even finish the sentence before she was sobbing in her friends’ arms.

“Yeah but you got your man,” Trina pointed out to her.

“And he’ll be able to afford a nanny,” Mel pointed out helpfully.

“And from what I hear the wags are pretty good at sticking together. You’ll have them,” Trina added, as if it’s the answer to everything.

“But they’re not you,” Tabby sighed, her shoulders slumping.

“But you love him,” Mel and Trina say together and then giggle and someone calls out ‘coke’. Tabby shook her head and allowed her friends to wrangle her into a gigantic hug. ‘Yes’, she thinks to herself, ‘I do, but is that going to be enough?’


  1. Great post! I'm kind of torn because I want you to update soon, but I want it to be as good (and juicy) as possible, so I guess it's ok to take your time.
    I think this will be a big transition for Tabby, but it's Sid's parents she'll have to worry about.

  2. ‘Yes’, she thinks to herself, ‘I do, but is that going to be enough?’ dum, dum, dum, dum...I really do want them to be so in love and have this baby and all the right things to're setting up the next chapter really well, where the reality sets in. I can't even imagine stepping into that lifestyle from a middle class life (I would like to try, however. Go Tabs)

  3. Ahhh! I stayed up so much later than I needed to, just waiting for this new update. So pathetic, right?
    I'm kinda worried one of them, probably Sid, will screw this up again....

  4. Loved the update and Sid meeting her parents. Wondering how his parents and management are going to take the news though. :D

    LOL @ her friends though. :D

  5. yes of course it will be enough, and by the way my friend just had a baby and she still wheres thongs and g-strings

  6. I have to say I'm surprised Tabby wasn't more angry at Sid for keeping his identity from her.
    I think he needs to give her a little more time before he proposes to her.

    Will be interesting to see Troy's reaction to Tabby & the baby!

  7. I was crying from laughing at the thought of poor Jordan stuck handcuffed to the bed. Amazing update though, can't wait for the next one. I agree with everyone else, it will be interesting to see Sid's parents (mainly Troys) reaction.

  8. Are you still alive, lol?