Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chapter 15

A loud boom woke me up. I opened my eyes slowly and saw Bauer still curled up and asleep at the end of the bed. That’s when I heard the rain and saw the flash of light. It was just a thunderstorm. I fell back to the bed and looked up at the ceiling. Great. Now what was I going to do today?

After trying to fall back to sleep with no luck, I finally got up and got my coffee going early. When it was ready I took a mug and sat down in front of the TV. I flipped through channels and groaned when I saw that nothing interesting was on. I put on the weather and saw that the storm was going to last all day. I groaned again.

Usually I would have gone to the gym to kill some time, but my ankle was at least a week away from any sort of physical activity. I grabbed one of Bauer’s toys and threw it down the hallway for him to chase, but apparently the storm had put him into a lazy mood. He merely lifted his head, watched it sail through the air, and then returned his head to the throw pillow he’d been laying on.

I was going to go stir crazy just sitting here all day. I was an active person. I needed to be doing something or be around someone to be happy. Currently I didn’t have either. I sighed as I wracked my brain for a solution to my problem. Only one thing came to mind. Sidney.

I shook the thought off. I still wasn’t sure I was ready to be around him alone just yet. I needed to find a way to squash this crush before it got any worse. I was just not emotionally ready to have feelings for anyone right now. There was just too much hurt left over from Mason and too much uncertainty about what my future held.

Then I got angry at myself. This whole thing was stupid. When had a silly crush ever kept me from spending time with anyone before? Growing up, I’d had a new crush every week. In fact, I’d never had a crush that lasted longer than a few weeks. I just needed to continue on like I would normally and the crush would go away.

I felt my fears and hesitations fall away when I realized all of that. There was nothing to be worried about. I smiled and picked up my phone. I knew it was early, but I figured Sidney would probably be up anyway. He was an early riser.

Are you up? I sent.

Yeah, why?

Any plans?

Not anymore thanks to the rain.

Movie day at your place?

I’ll see you when you get here.

I smiled to myself as I got dressed. Everything was going to be okay. Bauer got into the car with me and I headed towards Sidney’s. I took a detour on the way and stopped at the grocery store. What was a movie day without movie snacks? After quickly loading up on junk food that I knew Sidney would say he couldn’t have and then sneak some of, I finished off the trip to his house.

“What the hell is this stuff?” he asked, looking down at the bags in my hands when he opened the door.

“Snacks,” I told him simply as I walked in. I made my way into his kitchen and started grabbing any bowls I could find.

“Are other people coming?” he asked. I shook my head as I began emptying the contents of one of the boxes into a bowl. “Then who exactly is going to eat all this?”

“We are,” I stated. He laughed at me, but I ignored him and continued filling bowls. “Help me carry these out there, will ya?”

He obliged and grabbed as many of the bowls as he could. We covered his coffee table with the bowls of candy and popcorn. Then we poured ourselves glasses of soda and sat down on the sectional. I pulled out all the movies I had brought and began to peruse Sidney’s options on the DVD holder.

“What do you want to start off with?” Sidney asked, taking a bite of a Twizzler.

“I don’t know. I say we can’t watch anything that’s not a comedy all day. What do you think?”

He looked through my collection of movies before getting up to look through his own. We definitely had a fair amount in common, which showed me that we had the same taste. He finally grabbed a DVD off the shelf and held it up. I rolled my eyes and snorted out my laughter.

“You would pick that to be first.”

“It’s a classic!” he defended himself. “Are you okay with it?”

“Is the answer Jesus?” He grinned at the quote from Slap Shot, which he was holding up. It didn’t take long for us to be in complete hysterics as we bantered back and forth like we were characters in the movie.

“She underlines the fuck scenes for ya?” Sidney responded.

“You’re bullshit, you’re really bullshit!” I returned.

“You take the van, I’ll keep the dog!”

“They’re fuckin’ horrible lookin’!”

“I’m listening to the fucking song!”

“Johnny always says you can just drink so much and screw so much.”

“You’re stupid when you do that. Just some English pig with no brain.”

“You make me sick when you speak, Morris.”

When we finally settled down from our laughter and quote-fest we put the movie in. We snacked on all the pure sugar I’d brought over as we cracked up at the movie. We continued to shout out quotes from the movie as they came on and by the end we’d practically acted the whole thing out.

“I’ve never met a girl who knew that movie as well as hockey players do,” Sidney told me when it ended. I laughed.

“I actually hated it the first time I saw it. Mason put it on and he kept talking it up before it started. I watched it and at the end I looked at him like he was crazy. ‘That was it?’ I’d asked him. Later on he wanted to watch it again and I insisted on drinking while watching it. I was drunk before it even started and I found it hilarious. It grew on me,” I explained.

“Now, you have it memorized,” he finished. I grinned back at him. Keeping with the theme I put in Major League next without asking Sidney’s permission.

“Do you mind?” I asked.

“You trying to tell me Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?” he replied. I burst out into laughter and we fell into the same pattern with Major League that we did with Slap Shot.

In fact, that ended up being the pattern with every movie we put on. The entire day passed and I didn’t think either of us said anything that wasn’t a quote from some movie. My abs hurt because we were laughing so hard the entire day. Despite the snacks all day my stomach started to growl that evening, craving something substantial.

“What do you think we should do for dinner?” Sidney asked, obviously feeling the same way.

“Do you have to ask?” I answered. He rolled his eyes at me, knowing exactly what I meant.

“This has been the most unhealthy day of my life,” he joked when he picked up his phone to make the call.

“I’ll whip your ass into shape tomorrow. Today, we eat.”

The Chinese food arrived half an hour later and he carried the containers into the living room. We held off on starting another movie until we were done eating. When we’d had our fill of the take-out we added the containers to the mess on the table and collapsed back onto the couch in a near food coma. I realized that we were laying on separate sides of the sectional, but our heads met in the corner.

“What are you going to do when you leave Cole Harbour?” Sidney asked me, turning his head to face me.

“Go back to my parents’ house and get my job back I guess,” I said.

“No, I mean in the future. What does your future hold?” he clarified. I thought about it for a moment.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

I was surprised by the question because of how unexpected it was to me. It occurred to me that no one had ever asked me what I wanted to do. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about what I should do, but no one ever took what I wanted into consideration. I don’t know if I’d always known what I wanted but had put it to the back of my mind to appease other people or if it only just hit me when Sidney asked, but I suddenly knew.

“I want to go back to school. I want a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition.”

Things felt clear to me now. It was too late to start going to school somewhere in the fall, but maybe I could start in the spring and if not, I’d start the following year. There was a resolve in me that I hadn’t felt before. My life had a purpose. I knew what I wanted to do and it felt amazing.

“So get it.”

I rolled over and looked at Sidney with a smile on my face. He was probably the first person in my life that had ever been supportive of a decision I’d made. Sure, there was still a lot to be done to ensure that I did it, but just knowing that I had a destination in mind made everything else seem less daunting.

“Thank you,” I said to him. He rolled over and faced me.

“For what?” he asked.


He looked at me in confusion, but I didn’t elaborate. I wasn’t sure that it would make any sense. How would I explain it to him? You were the first person to ask me what I wanted and suddenly it dawned on me. It sounded crazy in my head and it would probably sound crazier if I said it out loud.

Instead I just looked back at him and smiled. After a while a smile broke out onto his face too. We stayed like that, silent and smiling at each other. The butterflies in my stomach flared up just then and I found myself wanting desperately to feel his lips on mine. That’s when the fear hit.

I couldn’t kiss him right now. I was going to need his support because I didn’t know if I’d have anyone else’s. I couldn’t risk our friendship by kissing him. He probably didn’t even have any sort of feelings towards me past friendship. Thankfully our relationship had remained intact after that night on Canada Day, but I sort of felt that was the case because neither of us remembered it. If I kissed him and he didn’t feel like that about me, I could lose him.

But what if he did feel that way about me? Then what? That would be just as disastrous. I know how I get when relationships start. I rely on the guy and my dependence on them starts almost immediately. I fall in love quickly and I’ll do anything to make the guy happy, including giving up anything I want. I couldn’t do that this time. I needed to fulfill my dreams before starting another relationship. It was the only way I could guarantee that I wouldn’t lose myself again.

“So what movie do you want to watch now?” I asked, breaking the eye contact and standing up.

“Anything you want,” he replied. If only it were that easy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chapter 14

I made the last turn on my run and headed back towards my house. I sped up to sprint the length of the street. As I neared my house I saw someone walk down off the doorstep. I didn’t see any cars and I strained my eyes to try to figure out who it was. The closer I got the more I could see, and I realized it was Sidney.

It had been a few days since the day at his house, and we hadn’t really talked. After realizing how I felt about him, I was trying to avoid him. Now was just not the time for feelings like this towards anyone. He smiled as I reached the house next door. I wanted to try to play it cool, like nothing had changed.

Just as I smiled back, I felt myself plunging forward. I put my hands out to break my fall as I hit the pavement. I yelled out in pain as I felt stinging in my hands and my right knee. I noticed the throbbing in my right ankle after the initial shock of the fall. Then I cursed myself for forgetting the pothole in the road next to my driveway.

“Are you okay?” Sidney asked, concern laced in his voice, as he rushed over to me.

“I think so,” I replied, forcing a smile to my face. He grabbed my hands and turned them over to look at my palms.

“You’re bleeding,” he stated. I just shrugged.

“It’s hardly the worst injury I’ve ever had,” I told him.

“Let me help you inside.”

He slid his arm around me and I couldn’t ignore the shiver that went through my body. He helped me up and I visibly winced as I put pressure on my ankle. Suddenly I felt myself being lifted up into the air. I let out a small noise in protest, but Sidney ignored it and carried me in a fireman lift to the front door, where he managed to open the door with me in his arms. Once inside he put me down on the couch and immediately lifted my leg up to inspect my ankle.

“It’s fine, it’s just a tear,” I told him. He looked at me in confusion before going back to inspect my ankle.

“It’s not swelling or bruising right away so that’s a good sign. It’s probably just a mild sprain.” I shook my head.

“Nope, it’s a tear,” I argued. Now he looked at me skeptically.

“How do you figure?” he asked.

“I’ve done it before. I have an extra bone in my ankle called an os trigonum. I didn’t know about it, and thought that I just sprained my ankle all the time playing sports. When I did actually break my ankle one time I found out about the bone. I have os trigonum syndrome. Basically it means that I crunch it between my ankle and heel bones and it stretches and tears the tissue connecting it to my foot. I just need to keep off of it,” I explained.

“But it’s not bruising or swelling.” I shrugged.

“My body doesn’t respond to injuries normally. I almost never bruise and I’ve probably noticed swelling on my body after getting hurt once in my life. Trust me. I’ll be fine. There’s nothing that can be done. It’ll just be sore for a while.”

“Are you sure?” he checked. I nodded.

He got up off the floor where he’d been kneeling and walked into my bathroom. He came out with disinfectant, bandages, and a towel. Then he walked into the kitchen and grabbed some ice to put in the towel before placing it on my ankle. He sat down next to me and I bandaged my hands and knee.

“So what are you doing here anyway?” I asked as I worked.

“I actually wanted to see if you wanted to come over for dinner tomorrow,” he told me.

I stopped what I was doing and looked over at him. I wanted to say yes, but I was worried about how I felt about him. I didn’t need to be encouraging that. He noticed my hesitation and spoke up again before I could give him an answer.

“I should probably warn you that it’s a yearly thing. My family comes over and cooks dinner at my place. Wesley, Caden, Walker, and Zara always come too. It’s just kind of a fun night for close friends and family,” he explained.

“I’d be meeting your parents?” I asked.

“Well, yeah, along with my sister. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I just thought I’d invite you in case you wanted a nice home cooked meal made by my mom. Everyone loves her food.”

“What time should I be there?” I asked.

“The guys show up a little after 5,” he answered. I thought about it for a moment.

“So, you’re mom’s cooking, right?” He nodded. “She’s cooking for 9 people. Who’s helping her?” Sidney shrugged.

“No one. She does it by herself.”

“What time does she get there?”

“Usually around 4.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow at 4. Tell her I’ll take care of dessert if she doesn’t mind.”

Sidney laughed at me but said he’d tell her. He left not long after and I hobbled into the bathroom to take a shower. I winced in pain as the water ran over the cuts on my hands and knee and once again cursed myself for forgetting about the pothole in the road. It was all Sidney’s fault. Why did he have to show up unexpectedly and surprise me like that?

The next day I packed up the dessert I’d made and carried it out to the car, with Bauer in tow. We both hopped in and headed over to Sidney’s. I pulled up and saw a teenage girl chasing Sam around the yard outside. She stopped when she saw me pull in, and watched me curiously as I got out, allowing Bauer to hop out behind me.

Bauer started to run towards Sam, but froze when he saw the girl, who I could only assume was Sidney’s sister Taylor. He cautiously made his way towards her until he was only almost a foot away from her. From there he stretched out his body as far as he could to sniff at the hand she held out to him. To my amazement he licked her hand and wagged his tail. I don’t know what it was about the Crosby’s, but he seemed to like them. He let her pet him for a moment before he took off after Sam.

“Hi, you must be Taylor. I’m Misty,” I greeted her as I shut the door to my car and carried the pans towards the house. She smiled at me.

“It’s nice to finally meet you. Sidney talks about you all the time.” I felt my face flush, and hated that he had that effect on me.

“Well, don’t believe anything he’s told you,” I joked.

“Oh, so you’re a total bitch then,” she replied. I started to laugh at her comment.

“You’re quick. I like you.”

I followed her up to the house and thanked her as she held the door open for me. I heard voices coming from the kitchen and started to hobble my way in that direction. My ankle was still sore enough to cause me to limp. Sidney walked out with a beer in his hand, followed by a man that had to be his father.

“Hey, Misty, you’re here!” he called.

“I’m here!” I returned. He looked down at the pans in my hands.

“I’ll take those for you,” he offered as he took them out of my hands. He headed back towards the kitchen probably to put them down somewhere.

“They have to be sliced before they can be served, so it’d be blatantly obvious if you tried to sneak any before dinner!” I called after him. He stopped and looked back at me.

“Now why would you say such a thing?” he asked.

“I know your track record with sneaking my desserts before dinner, Crosby,” I replied. He laughed.

“Well, you’ve outsmarted me this time,” he joked. I grinned back at him.

“I always will.” He turned and walked back into the kitchen with the pans and I turned towards his father. “Hi, I’m Misty.”

“Troy. It’s nice to finally meet you,” he said shaking my hand. I felt like he was sizing me up, which made me slightly uncomfortable. Before either of us could say anything else, Sidney walked back into the room, followed by his mom.

“Misty, I want you to meet my mom, Trina. Mom, this is Misty,” he introduced.

I froze as I saw the woman standing in front of me. No way. I was looking right at the woman I’d talked to for a while at the crafts fair. She wore the same expression I was sure I was wearing. Suddenly we both burst into laughter. Both Sidney and his father looked between the two of us and then at each other in confusion.

“What’s funny?” Sidney asked.

“I should have known you were Sid’s mom!” I exclaimed. “You were talking about your son having the same kind of dog and saying that he took his job too seriously and needed to loosen up. That should have tipped me off!”

“And I should have known you were Misty when you said you’d just come here for the summer and didn’t know anyone. How blind we both were.” We both laughed again.

“You two have met?” Troy asked.

“I met Misty at the crafts fair not too long ago! Remember? I told you about the sweet girl I met that I thought would get along well with Sid. I guess I was right,” she told him.

“Moms always know best,” I joked. We both laughed again. “Can I help you with dinner? I heard it gets left to you and I felt bad. Please put me to work.”

“I think I can find something for you to do.”

I spent the next two hours helping Trina prepare dinner. Sidney kept popping in to check on how we were doing, but Trina and I were chatting like we were old friends. He eventually stopped coming in when he heard some of the childhood stories she was telling me. It was strange how comfortable I felt talking to her. We had some sort of weird connection and by the end of the night I almost felt like I had another mom.

Everyone else showed up and hung out outside with Sidney, Taylor, and Troy. When dinner was ready we all gathered around a table that was set up outside and ate. I sat next to Taylor while we were eating with Sidney across the table. We spent all of dinner talking about boys which creeped him out to no end.

Even by the end of the night I still felt a little strange around Troy. He hadn’t actually done anything to make me uncomfortable, but there was something. Despite me trying to make it obvious that I wasn’t gunning for his son, I still felt like he thought I was. I was going to have my work cut out for me there.

Sid’s family only stayed for a while after dinner before saying goodbye and heading home for the night. The rest of us stayed much later just hanging out and goofing off. Overall it had been a pretty great night.

“Did you have fun?” Sidney asked as he walked me out to my car.

“I did. I’m in love with your mom and sister,” I told him.

“Not my dad?”

“I feel like he thinks I’m going to get you in trouble.” Sidney laughed.

“You probably will,” he replied. I laughed too.

“Hey, you heard your mom. You take things too seriously and need to lighten up. I don’t take anything seriously.”

“Well, thanks for coming. I’ll talk to you later.” Sidney gave me a hug before Bauer and I got in the car and headed home.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chapter 13

I walked into the gym and saw other volleyball games going on already. I made my way over to Aiden and the rest of my team. We chatted for a few minutes before everyone started their warm ups. Aiden and I jogged and talked before stopping to stretch like we usually did. Suddenly there was a loud commotion.

It sounded like a group of people yelling and cheering. I turned towards the entrance of the gym where the sound continued to get louder. The door burst open and I watched as Wesley, Caden, and Walker ran into the gym wearing cheerleading outfits and yelling at the top of their lungs. Zara and Valerie followed them in with their arms full of stuff. Sidney filtered in behind them all, dressed like he normally is, shaking his head, but with a smile.

“What the hell is going on?” I heard someone ask.

The games currently going on had halted to see what the deal was. I watched in horror as the three guys ran straight for me. I put my hands out and started shaking my head, but it was no use. In front of the entire gym Wesley grabbed me and lifted me into the air while they all continued cheering.

I began laughing as he ran around with me hanging over his shoulder before he passed me on to Caden. Caden started to spin around with me in his arms before passing me off to Walker. Walker started bouncing me up and down to the rhythm of the cheers and I just could not stop laughing. Walker then practically threw me at Sidney.

Sidney hadn’t been prepared for that and barely caught me against his chest with me facing him. My face had ended up mere inches from his. He looked into my eyes and broke out his lopsided grin. I stopped laughing as I smiled back at him. Our eyes were locked and it didn’t seem like either of us wanted to look away.

Everything around me faded as I continued to stare into his eyes. Suddenly a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time resurfaced. Yep, there they were. Butterflies. Then came the pounding heart. Oh, Jesus, this can’t be happening. Yet, it was, and I felt the urge to kiss him.

“I hope you don’t mind that we came to cheer you on,” Wesley said coming up next to us. It snapped me back into reality. Sidney slowly put me down once our eye contact was broken.

“Not at all. I just wasn’t expecting this!” I exclaimed.

“Sid told us you were playing tonight so we thought we’d come support you,” Caden added.

“That was really sweet, thank you.”

I looked over at Zara and Valerie who had laid out what looked to be signs they’d made. They both gave me smirks as I backed away from Sidney. I narrowed my eyes at them before turning away. I knew they’d seen how long I was in Sidney’s arms and I could tell exactly what they were thinking. They enjoyed bringing up my non-existent crush on Sidney.

Well, if it was so non-existent, why the hell had I had the urge to kiss him moments ago? I groaned inwardly and scolded myself. The last thing I needed was to have a thing for Mr. NHL. There was just no way that I did and no way that I ever could. I’d done the dating a hockey player thing. It wasn’t for me.

“Good luck, Misty!” Walker called as they made their way over to the side to wait for my game to start.

“You know Sidney Crosby?” Aiden asked when I made my way back over to the group.

“Yeah, I dumped coffee on him one day and the rest is history,” I told him with a shrug.

“I guess that’s a good way to snag an NHL superstar,” he commented. He sounded jealous.

“There was no snagging,” I said. He looked at me in surprise.

“You two aren’t dating?” I shook my head.

“No, not at all.”

“Could have fooled me.” I rolled my eyes and let the comment go, not wanting to get into it.

We continued to warm up while the other games finished. Practically every time I touched a volleyball some cheering came from the peanut gallery. I was having a hard time keeping myself from laughing the entire time. The first games finished and we set our lineup.

As I stepped onto the court before the first serve I glanced over at my friends. The guys were doing some crazy routine and the girls were holding up the signs and cheering. Then my eyes caught Sidney’s. He was just sitting there looking out at me, and when our gazes met he smiled and mouthed ‘good luck’.

I turned my attention back to the court and felt my stomach tie itself into a knot. I was nervous? What the hell was I nervous about? This was just rec volleyball that meant nothing. I’d only been nervous once in my life before a game and that was when I had a college coach watching a match. I’d played so poorly that I’d never heard from her again. Now I almost felt sick and couldn’t figure it out.

Then it hit me. Sidney was here and I didn’t want to play badly in front of him. I wanted to have the game of my life with him there watching me. This was ridiculous. No, that couldn’t be the reason I was feeling like this. Just to prove that it wasn't to myself, I glanced over at him again. As soon as my eyes landed on him my stomach clenched again. Dammit.

Thankfully I managed to battle through the first couple of plays before getting into my groove. Our team ended up with another win and I’d played out of my mind. I was relieved that I hadn’t sucked it up in front of everyone, and especially Sidney. I looked over at them and saw everyone cheering wildly with Sidney standing next to them clapping with a giant smile on his face.

“Nice game!” Zara called out when they made their way over to me.

“Thanks. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.”

“We think we should grab some celebratory beers. How does that sound?” Valerie asked. I smiled and nodded.

“Just let me get this stuff off.”

The seven of us walked into a bar a bit later to stares from everyone in there. The guys were still in their cheerleading outfits and were still cheering. They proceeded to introduce me to nearly everyone we walked by, telling them that I was the next up and coming volleyball star. I don’t get embarrassed easily, but they were real close to making that happen.

“So what are you doing tomorrow?” Sidney asked me at some point in the night. I shrugged.

“No plans really. How about you?” I returned.

“Well, it’s supposed to be nice out so I was thinking of just spending the day out on the lake. Feel free to come over whenever you like if you want.”

“Yeah, that sounds fun.”

The next day I woke up and immediately started to get ready to head over to Sidney’s. I opened the drawer to pull out a bathing suit and found myself staring at my selections. Suddenly I was self conscious about which one I was going to wear in front of him. I hated this. I forced myself to just grab one and put it on.

The entire drive to his place I tried to tell myself that the day before had just been some sort of weird fluke. I didn’t actually have any sort of feelings towards Sidney past friendship. I was just thrown off because of everyone showing up to cheer me on. By the time I reached his house I had myself fully convinced that that was all it was.

When I pulled up to his house I only saw his car there. It wasn’t like I was early with it being almost noon so I was surprised that no one else was here. I figured maybe they’d had too much to drink the night before and had slept in later than me. I let Bauer out of the car and walked up to the door. Sidney pulled it open before I had a chance to knock. Hey, no butterflies!

“Hey,” he greeted me. Bauer jumped up on him for attention before taking off into the house in search of Sam.

“You were right, it’s beautiful out today,” I said as I followed Bauer into the house.

“I’m always right,” he joked. I collapsed down onto his couch and gave him a skeptical look.

“Whatever, Crosby. So where’s everyone else?” I asked casually.

“Working.” I whipped my head around to look at him.

“So it’s just the two of us today?” I asked.

“Yep, just us.”

I started to feel a little uneasy. I’d assumed that the whole group would be here hanging out. At no point had I expected us to spend the entire day together alone. I mentally smacked myself. So I’d wanted to kiss him the day before. So what? Big deal. It hardly meant I was in love with the guy. It’s not like we’d never hung out just the two of us before. Get a grip, Misty. I forced myself to forget about the night before. When I’d managed to get that out of my head I began to enjoy myself like I always did when I was with Sidney.

“I can’t believe you’ve never been on a jet ski before,” Sidney called back to me as I followed him out to the lake.

“What can I say? I’m a jet ski virgin.” He laughed.

After he reached the dock I watched him lift his shirt over his head, leaving just his swim trunks on. Aw shit, the butterflies were back. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen him with a shirt off before, but something was different this time. I felt like I was noticing him in a completely different way.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of his nicely chiseled abs and chest. How had I not noticed how ripped he was before? He looked back at me and I quickly averted my eyes from his chest to his face. He smiled over his shoulder at me before tossing me a life jacket. I stripped down to my bathing suit and put the life jacket on. I watched in disappointment as Sidney did the same, covering his torso.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Uh, Sid, there’s only the one jet ski ready to go,” I commented. This couldn’t be good.

“You think I’m going to let you take your own when you’re a jet ski virgin?” He said it jokingly, but I flushed anyway. Poor poor choice of words on my part earlier.

“I suppose not.” He climbed on and then held a hand out to me. I took his hand and climbed on behind him.

“Hold on tight,” he commanded. I wrapped my arms around his waist and felt the butterflies increase immensely. I took a deep breath and then we were off.

He drove around for a while and I held on as tight as I could. I knew at least part of the reason I was holding on so tight was because I just really enjoyed holding on to him. I found myself loosening up as we circled around and I even began to laugh as he went along. We pulled back up to shore and he turned his head to look back at me.

“Wanna drive?” he asked. My smile grew and I emphatically nodded.

He got off and I slid up. He then got back on behind me. I tensed up again when I felt his body basically engulf mine. His arms slid around me and he grabbed my hands, placing them where they needed to be, our fingers intertwined. He started to explain how to drive it. I had to struggle to pay attention to the instructions.

When he was satisfied that I knew what I was doing he gave me the go ahead. I felt him wrap his arms around me to hold on. I noticeably shuddered at his touch, immediately hating how my body was responding to him. He leaned forward a bit and I could feel his breath on my ear as he spoke.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his lips just an inch or two away from my neck.

“Yeah, sorry. I’m just excited,” I lied. Well, the excitement wasn’t a lie, but the reason I gave him for the shudder was.

“Okay, go ahead. Remember to start slow.” I nodded and started the jet ski up.

It didn’t take long for me to get the hang of it. I had a blast driving around the lake. Having Sidney’s arms wrapped around me didn’t hurt either. When I pulled back up to shore I couldn’t help but have a grin on my face. I grabbed a towel and tossed one to Sidney to dry off.

“Did you have fun?” he asked.

“I had a blast. Thanks for popping my jet ski cherry.”

He snorted and my face flushed again. It was exactly the kind of thing I would say, but again, in this situation it was a poor choice of words. I really didn’t need to be thinking about Sidney and sex at the same time right now.

We headed back up to his house where we found Bauer and Sam curled up on the couch taking a nap. They barely acknowledged that we were back, obviously exhausted from playing all day. Sidney invited me to stay for dinner and I accepted. While I was having an internal battle on the new feelings I had towards him, I wasn’t ready to leave him yet.

“Misty?” I heard Sidney say. I opened my eyes and looked at him at the other end of the couch. I’d fallen asleep.

“Yeah?” I asked groggily.

“Why don’t you just stay here tonight?” I didn’t respond right away. I really didn’t think that was such a good idea.

“I don’t want to put you out,” I declined.

“You’re tired and I don’t mind. Just stay. Please.” There was no way I was staying here tonight.

“Yeah, okay, thanks,” I heard myself say. This was bad.

We both headed upstairs where he gave me some clothes to sleep in. He gave me a hug before I went to bed and my body tingled everywhere that he’d been touching me when he pulled away. We said goodnight and I got into bed. I realized as I was lying there that I’d just spent 12 hours straight with Sidney.

I rolled over onto my side and burrowed my head into the pillows. The t-shirt I was wearing bunched up around my face and I could smell him. The smell sent chills throughout my body. Oh crap. I didn’t just have a crush. I was falling for him.