“Pay up!” Wesley called out. I turned my head to look over at the four guys playing poker.
“Keep it down over there!” Zara yelled over to them.
“Oh, sorry. We didn’t mean to interrupt your tanning, Princess,” Caden joked. The group was out on Sidney’s boat. We were just floating around the lake on a beautiful day. Zara and I were stretched out on the back taking in the sun while the guys played poker.
“What is it with boys and poker?” Zara groaned as I flipped over onto my stomach.
“I have no idea, but it’s obnoxious,” I replied. We both laughed at their expense.
“We should do this again next weekend if the weather’s nice,” Zara suggested.
“Oh, I’d love to but I think I’m heading home for the week.”
“What for?” Walker asked, interrupting our conversation.
“It’s my best friend’s birthday,” I explained.
“Isn’t that a bit of a hike?” Sidney threw in.
“Like a 16 hour drive or so.”
“What is wrong with you?! Just fly!” Wesley exclaimed.
“I don’t want to do that to Bauer. He’s never flown and he’s scared of everything. He’d be traumatized. It’s no big deal, really. Hardly my first road trip.”
The conversation changed after that. The guys went back to their poker game and Zara and I got back to tanning. When the sun started to fall we headed back to Sidney’s. Zara and I grabbed drinks while the guys started up the grill and argued over who could cook a steak better. Getting annoyed, Zara and I grabbed the steaks and tossed them on the grill while the guys were still arguing.
“What the hell?!” Caden called out, looking at the steaks on the grill in horror.
“You’re going to ruin them!” Walker agreed.
“Then someone just cook the damn steaks! I’m hungry and you were all acting like 5 year olds,” Zara demanded.
Sidney claimed the grill pulling out the home field advantage card. Happy that someone had finally taken control, Zara and I went inside to make up a bowl of salad. I found a mixture of vegetables in Sidney’s refrigerator and sliced them up before covering them in oil and a garlic herb seasoning. Then I brought them out in a grill basket and ordered Sidney to grill those too.
“She’s ordering you around like you’re married,” I heard Wesley joke as I walked back into the house.
“Fuck off,” was Sidney’s reply. I laughed to myself before heading back into the house.
When the food was done we sat around the table talking, laughing, and eating. Once it was done Zara and I cleaned up while the guys sat on their asses like they’d had a rough day. Just as we were finishing, a few more people showed up. Apparently we were hanging out at Sidney’s for the night.
It turned into a small party not long after. Drinks were flowing, card games were being played, and drunken conversations were being had. I’d spent most of the night talking with Zara and Valerie, who had come over not long after dinner. As we sat around a fire that had been started we looked up to see Callie walk around the house.
“Who invited her?” Valerie asked.
“Looks like your competition’s here,” Zara said looking at me. I gave her an annoyed look.
“I’m sorry, why are we competing?” I questioned.
“She’s still hung up on Sidney,” Valerie replied.
“Still not understanding,” I told them. They looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Was my crush that obvious?
“Come on, Misty. We know you like Sid,” Zara prodded. I groaned and stood up.
“Is he cute? Yes, and there are plenty of cute guys out there I can appreciate. Do I want to date him? No. I need a drink.”
I walked away from them and into the house to grab something strong. I hated having that conversation with them. No matter what I said, they were still dead set on the fact that Sidney and I belonged together. We were just friends and that’s where it was going to stay.
As I poured myself a drink I saw Callie walk into the house. She was looking just as slutty as she always did. While I’d heard plenty about her, I’d never talked to her before and I wasn’t really looking forward to being alone in the house with her right now. When she saw me pouring a drink she smiled over at me.
“Hi, we haven’t met. I’m Callie,” she said a little too sweetly. I had a feeling the smile on her face was as fake as could be.
“Misty,” I returned as I put the cap back on the bottle of Captain. I grabbed a diet pepsi and didn’t offer up any more to the conversation. I watched Callie grab a beer out of the corner of my eye and pop the top off before taking a sip.
“You and Sid have been spending a lot of time together this summer,” she started. I smiled over at her and shrugged.
“I guess. I don’t really know a lot of people here,” I offered, starting to feel a little uncomfortable with the direction this conversation looked to be headed.
“I heard about your ex being a hockey player. Decided to trade up to a superstar?” she asked.
“Excuse me? Sidney and I are just friends, that’s it. I’m not looking to trade up or down right now, thank you.” I was annoyed and went to walk out of the house suddenly dying to talk to Zara and Valerie about my possible feelings for Sidney. Unfortunately Callie blocked my way.
“He’s mine. We belong together.” I rolled my eyes at her.
“Good luck convincing him of that.” I started to try to push past Callie but she stepped in front of me again.
“I don’t like you and I don’t like that you’re around. If you try to take him from me, I’ll end you.”
Her eyes were narrowed on me in an attempt to look menacing, but I felt myself start to laugh. I was pretty small in stature, but it was obvious that I was stronger than Callie. I practically lived at the gym and it showed in my body. It looked like Callie was skin and bones. I’d kick her ass if she ever tried to “end me.”
“If you don’t get out of my way right now, you won’t have to wait to try.”
I’d never fought anyone and I certainly wasn’t looking to get in my first one right now, but I was a little drunk and didn’t like being threatened. Callie didn’t move but I saw a flicker of fear in her face. I smiled at her. She knew she was in over her head with me. I continued to glare at her, giving her time to back down and let me by.
“Hey, Misty, can you make me that drink you concocted for me at your place with the pomegranate?” Sidney’s voice called out interrupting our staring contest. Callie looked over at him and then back at me before storming out of the house.
When Sidney heard Misty say that she was going home for the week, he was surprised. She hadn’t mentioned it before. Then when she said she was driving, he wasn’t happy. He was worried. She’d be by herself on the road for 16 hours and a lot could happen. There wasn’t anything he could do about it right now, but he was going to come up with a solution.
“She’s ordering you around like you’re married,” Caden joked when Misty had handed him a grill basket of mixed vegetables and told him to grill them.
“Fuck off,” he replied, not wanting to hear it.
“So when are you going to man up and make a move?” Walker asked. Sidney groaned and flipped the steaks.
“Not going to happen,” he told them.
“Why not? She hot, she’s funny, she could care less that you’re Sidney Crosby, we like her, and you like her. What’s stopping you?” Wesley questioned.
“The fact that we’re just friends is what’s stopping me. It’s just not like that with us,” he argued. He was sick of having this conversation with the guys.
“Come on. You’re telling me that you two haven’t hooked up since Canada Day?” Caden asked.
“No, we haven’t.” Sidney started to get annoyed and suddenly wished he hadn’t pulled the home field card to make sure he was the one grilling so he could get away from them right now.
“But you two could-" Walker started.
“Steaks are done!” Sidney interrupted, extremely grateful. He pulled them off the grill and brought the steaks inside, ending the conversation.
When dinner was over the guys made a few calls and people started coming over. Sidney didn’t mind at all. They were all his friends and he much preferred to stay in than go out. They built a fire in the backyard and made their way out there for the night. In the middle of a conversation with the guys, Zara ran over to him.
“Sidney, you need to get inside now!” she yelled out. He immediately turned toward the house.
“Why?” he asked.
Then he spotted them. Callie and Misty were the only two in the house and neither looked very happy. Callie had her arms over her chest and was glaring at Misty. Misty had a drink in her hand and looked ready to dump it over Callie’s head. Nothing good could be coming from this. Who the hell had invited Callie anyway?
“Hey, Misty, can you make me that drink you concocted for me at your place with the pomegranate?” he asked walking into the house. Callie looked between him and Misty before storming out of the house.
“Thank you,” Misty thanked him.
“What was that about?” he asked. Misty sighed and took a sip of her drink.
“Apparently you belong with Callie and she doesn’t like that I’m around. She thinks I’m a threat which is ridiculous of course,” Misty explained. Sidney felt disappointment at the last statement. She thought the two of them together would be ridiculous. He tried to hide the disappointment and laughed at the first part.
“I belong with Callie? That’s good for a few laughs.” Misty laughed with him about it and headed for the door.
“You picked a crazy one, Sid,” she joked.
“I’ll come home with you.” What? Where had that come from? Misty spun around to look at him in surprise.
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
“When you go home I’ll go with you. That way you don’t have to travel so far by yourself,” he offered.
He had no idea where that idea had come from or why it had popped into his mind at that time, but it had, and now he liked the idea. He could make sure nothing happened to her on the drive if he was with her. Now she just had to agree.
“You don’t have to do that. I’ve driven that far alone before.” He shrugged.
“It’s fine, really. You’ve seen where I grew up. I think it would be kind of fun to see where you grew up.” Misty thought about it for a minute and nodded with a smile.
“I guess if you want, it’s fine. I want to leave Monday. I hope that’s okay with you.”
“Sounds good.” He followed her back outside with a smile on his face.