I woke up to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. I sighed as I threw off the covers. Bauer followed me into the kitchen where I let him out and grabbed the pot of coffee that had just finished brewing. Oh, the wonders of having a decent coffee maker. I stood in front of the window sipping the coffee and looking at the clouds. The rain didn’t look like it’d be letting up anytime soon.
I let Bauer in and gave him some breakfast before pouring myself a bowl of granola cereal. I sat down on the couch and flicked through the channels on the TV. Not seeing anything interesting on, I turned on some music instead.
I dumped my now empty bowl into the sink as Britney Spears’ “Circus” came on. I began dancing around the living room belting out the lyrics as I went. Dancing was one of my favorite things to do. I was often known to break out in dance every time a song I liked came on, no matter where I was.
Bauer barked and jumped around me as I danced from the living room, down the hall, and into my bedroom. I had a ton of energy and decided to make my way to the gym since the weather wasn’t going to allow for a run outside. After getting changed I got into my car and drove to the gym Sidney had pointed out.
I walked inside and headed straight for the treadmills. I turned on my iPod and began my run. After walking briskly for a few minutes to warm up, I sped up and began my usual pace. A few minutes later I noticed someone stop just to the side of me. I turned my head and saw Sidney standing there with a smile on his face.
“Hey,” I greeted as I took one of the earphones out.
“What’s up?” he asked.
“Just running,” I replied.
“How long have you been here?”
“About ten minutes. Did you just get here?” I returned noticing that he didn’t seem to be sweating at all. He nodded.
“What are you listening to?” he asked taking the earphone out of my hand and putting it into his. I narrowed my eyes at him when he began to laugh. “You’ve got to be kidding me. ‘Beat It’?” What's wrong with a little Michael Jackson?
“Hey, I like it!” I protested.
He laughed again. To prove it was a good song I began to dance and yell out the lyrics as I continued to run. He looked thoroughly embarrassed. His cheeks even turned red. I noticed people turning to look at me strangely, but I didn’t care. Sidney obviously did as he hastily handed me back my earphone.
“You’re crazy,” he told me. He turned and began to walk away.
“I love you too, Crosby!” I yelled after him. I saw him shake his head, but I could tell by his body language that he was laughing.
Sidney made his way into a back room of the gym to start his workout. He shook his head again as he thought about Misty. He hadn’t met anyone like her. Who in their right mind seriously begins singing Michael Jackson out loud in the middle of the gym? Who also has the coordination to run 7 miles an hour on a treadmill and be able to dance in the process without falling off?
Misty was definitely one of a kind, he decided. He’d only known her for about two weeks now, but he knew there was no way there was anyone like her out there in the world. For starters, she was one of the craziest, most outgoing people he’d ever met. She obviously wasn’t afraid of being embarrassed in front of a crowd, but she didn’t need to be the center of attention either.
More importantly, she never made him feel like he was anything other than normal. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised since her last boyfriend had been in the NHL, but sometimes that didn’t matter. Some girls never got used to the guys they were around while others just saw them as normal people. He had a feeling that no matter what happened, Misty would never use him for his celebrity in any way.
He also liked that she had no agenda with him. All she was looking for was a friend and that was all he could be for anyone right now. Not once in two weeks had she ever done anything to imply she saw him as anything more than that and he was grateful. He didn’t have time for dating or relationships. He did, however, have time to be around genuine, fun people.
The fact that Misty had his friends’ approval meant everything to him. They may not seem like a protective group on the outside, but they were. They had never cared about what Sidney had become, and they didn’t allow people that did care in their circle. They were always good judges of character so the minute they accepted Misty, Sidney knew his instincts about her were right on.
“Is that all you can lift?” Misty’s voice interrupted his thoughts and he looked at the weight he was currently squatting.
“I’d love to see you lift this much,” he challenged. She snorted.
“Yeah right. I totally wouldn’t want to embarrass you for the second time today,” she retorted. He rolled his eyes. “You almost done?”
“I have to finish this, and I have one more lift,” he told her.
“Good. You can buy me a smoothie when you’re done,” she said.
“What makes you think I would do something like that?”
She just smiled at him and walked away. He watched her walk over to the corner, grab a medicine ball and some weights and start doing some ab work. He was impressed by the obvious strength she possessed. No one could ever call her weak, that was for sure. He finished his workout and walked out to where she was still going, stopping at her feet and looking down at her.
“If you want that smoothie, I suggest you come with me now. Otherwise you’re out of luck,” he told her. She jumped up.
“Aye aye captain,” she said with a salute. He shook his head at her for probably the 100th time that day, but couldn’t keep the smile off his face.
“What kind did you get?” Sidney asked me as I sipped on my smoothie.
“Raspberry,” I replied. He looked at me weird.
“And?” I gave him a strange look back.
“Raspberry,” I told him.
“There are dozens of different smoothie combinations and you went with just raspberry?” he asked incredulously.
“Raspberries are quite possibly the greatest thing you could ever put in your mouth. Why would I want to taint that?” I returned. He laughed.
“Do you realize how dirty that sounded?” I scowled at him and gave him a shove.
“You’re a perv. So, Mr. Smoothie Nazi, what kind did you get?” He took a giant sip of his.
“Strawberry, blueberry, and banana,” he responded. I scrunched up my nose.
“Sounds bland,” I retorted. “At least raspberry is a strong, bold flavor.”
“Who’s acting like the Smoothie Nazi now?” he returned. I winked at him and laughed as we walked out of the store and over to our cars.
“Thanks for the smoothie!” I called over to him as I opened my car door.
“How about dinner and a play date for the dogs tonight?” he called back. I smiled.
“You can cook?” I joked. He laughed.
“I can grill.” It was my turn to laugh. Men and their grills.
“Should I bring anything?” He shook his head.
“Just Bauer. Is there anything you don’t like so I don’t make it?”
“I don’t eat fish. It smells bad, tastes bad, and has a creepy texture,” I told him.
“Okay, no seafood.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t like seafood. I love shellfish. Shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, scallops, yum. Except oysters and clams. I don’t eat those. Blech. Oh, and I don’t eat pork unless it’s hot dogs,” I explained.
“There’s always an exception to the rule with you,” he said laughing.
“You’ll learn that with me there's always an exception,” I teased.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“I’ll see you in an hour!” I yelled, ducking into my car.
I stopped on my way home to pick up a bottle of wine. As I stood looking at the selections I realized I had no idea what we were going to have for dinner or if Sidney even liked wine. I decided to play it safe and get a bottle of Riesling and a bottle of Pinot Noir. One of them would work.
I jumped into the shower when I got home. When I was out I threw on a pair of jeans and a pink loose fitting t-shirt. I put my hair into two braids so when it was dry it’d be wavy. Then I grabbed a container holding brownies I’d made the previous day along with some hot fudge and vanilla ice cream. I put them in a bag with the wine, called Bauer and headed over to Sidney’s.
I got out and could smell something delicious cooking on the grill. I let Bauer out of the car, grabbed the bag of stuff, and made my way around the house into Sidney’s backyard. Bauer saw Sam immediately and ran over to sniff her. It only took a minute for the two of them to decide they liked each other and start playing. Sidney turned when he heard the commotion and smiled at me.
“I thought I told you not to bring anything,” he chastised as he saw the bag I was carrying.
“I was taught you never show up to someone's house empty handed. I have ice cream. Can I put it in your freezer?” I asked. He nodded and led me inside.
“These are amazing!” Sidney exclaimed from behind me as I was putting the ice cream in the freezer. I turned around to see him shoving a brownie into his mouth.
“Hey! Those are for dessert!” I scolded him. He grinned at me, brownie in his teeth and I rolled my eyes at him. “I brought two bottles of wine. I wasn’t sure what we were having for dinner, or if you even drank wine.”
“I drink wine and we’re having a surf and turf. A ribeye and some shrimp with Cajun seasoning. I’m also grilling up some vegetables,” he explained.
“The Noir it is. Got a wine opener?”
He opened a drawer and pulled one out. I opened the wine and poured it into two glasses Sidney pulled out of a cupboard. We made our way back outside to hang out and watch the dogs. The rain had cleared up and it was a pretty nice evening so we ate outside. Sidney had been right. He could definitely grill.
We finished off the bottle of wine and then made our brownie sundaes for dessert. It seemed that Bauer and Sam weren’t quite done playing so we opened the Riesling and made our way back outside to hang out and talk. The sun dropped and it began to cool off. Sidney noticed that I was shivering a bit and went inside to get me a sweatshirt. I walked out onto his dock and lay down, staring up at the stars.
“Do you know anything about constellations?” I heard Sidney ask me.
“Not a thing,” I replied as I sat up, gratefully taking the sweatshirt. It smelled like Sidney, and I found it oddly comforting.
He took a seat beside me and we just sat there in a comfortable silence for a while looking out over the lake. At this point we’d finished the second bottle of wine and I had a nice buzz going. I wasn’t big into silence and jumped up from my spot, startling Sidney.
“Let’s do something. I don’t care what it is, cards, video games, or anything else. I just want to do something,” I told him. He laughed and stood up too.
“Do you like the Wii?” he asked. I let out a whoop and began to jog back towards the house.
“I’m so going to kick your ass!” I called to him as I turned around to look at him following behind me, while I continued to run. Right when I was about to turn around my heel caught on the root of a tree and I went sprawling on my ass onto the muddy ground.
“Are you okay?” he asked running over to me. I just sat there for a minute laughing.
“I don’t know what my problem is. I’m the most coordinated person I know and yet for some reason I get around you and turn into a total klutz,” I said with another laugh as he helped me up.
“I’m just special I guess,” he joked with a grin.
“Or it could be the wine, smart ass.” We called the dogs and walked into the house.
“Speaking of the wine, you should stay here tonight. I don’t like when people drive after drinking. There’s plenty of room.”
“You don’t have to convince me. Here are my keys, officer,” I said as I grabbed them out of my pocket and handed them over to him.
We made our way over to the couch where we played a few games of tennis, bowling, and Mario Kart. We both played well and it was deemed a tie for the night with a promise of a rematch soon. I headed into one of the guest rooms with shorts and a shirt from Sidney to sleep in. Bauer curled up next to me, exhausted from his night with Sam. I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.