Sidney pulled up to Misty’s house at 6 am Monday morning like they’d agreed upon. As soon as he’d placed the car into park the front door opened and Bauer tore outside. He got out of the car and smiled at Misty who followed Bauer out the door. Before he could say anything, Bauer jumped up on him. He greeted Bauer before making his way over to Misty.
“Morning,” she said to him chipperly with a smile. He made a face.
“How are you this awake right now?” he grumbled as she practically bounced down the sidewalk to put the bag she was carrying into his car.
“It’s called coffee. Want some?” she offered. He actually considered drinking some of her “coffee” as she called it. He must be tired.
“I’ll just stick with energy drinks, thanks,” he declined. She shrugged and walked back into the house. He followed her in, with Bauer on his tail. “Need help?”
“If you can grab those two bags there, that would be great,” she directed him.
He picked them up and looked inside. One held toys for Bauer and the other held food for him. Misty picked up Bauer’s bed and followed Sidney out to the car. He threw the bags in the trunk while Misty situated the bed in the back seat. She told him to hold on and ran back inside. She was back out in a minute with a travel mug and locked the door behind her.
“Ready?” he asked once they’d gotten into the car.
“A few ground rules first,” she started. He groaned.
“What Misty-isms are we going to deal with now?” he asked, only half joking. If he'd learned anything about her, it was that there was always some rule and it had an exception.
“I’m kind of offended by that!” she exclaimed. The pout on her face made her look hurt, but he could see the twinkle in her eyes that told him she wasn’t.
“I don’t take it back. Continue.” She narrowed her eyes at him before a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
“Asshole,” she muttered before continuing. “Okay, we only stop when it’s time to get gas. We get food and take bathroom breaks at the same time. No stops between, got it?”
“I can deal with that,” he agreed with a nod. No exception to that rule. He was surprised.
“Also, we split time with the music. Since it’s your car you get two hours of your choice to my one hour. Only exception is if one of us is sleeping. Obviously if your two hours are up, but I’m asleep, you don’t have to put my music in.” There was the exception. He knew it was coming.
“Sounds fair.” She smiled over at him.
“Then let’s hit the road.” He started the car and backed out of her driveway. As he started driving he realized something.
“Hey, where are we stopping for the night?” he asked. Misty nearly choked on a sip of coffee she’d just taken.
“Stopping? Good one,” she said with a giggle. He looked over at her in confusion. Her gaze turned to him and her smile faded. “You’re serious?” He nodded. “We’re not stopping.”
“What do you mean we’re not stopping?” he questioned.
“I’m not sure where I lost you,” she commented.
“It’s a 14 hour drive!” he exclaimed.
“Yeah, but there’s two of us to alternate driving,” she responded. He didn’t respond. Instead he just looked at her like she was crazy. When she saw the look on his face she started to laugh. “Oh, I get it. You don’t want me to drive your car!”
“No, that’s not it,” he argued. He couldn’t even believe himself.
“I’ll have you know, Crosby, that I’m a very good driver. Now we’re not stopping for the night. Either you’re going to have to do the whole trip yourself or you’re going to have to suck it up and let me drive.”
“Fine,” he growled. “If you so much as put a scratch on this car, I’ll-“
“You’ll what?” she asked, cutting him off. “Calm down, it’ll be fine.”
He settled into his seat and shut up about it. There was no sense in worrying about it now. They both fell silent as he drove. His mind wandered to the day before. He’d told his parents what he was doing and his father had lost it. The Stanley Cup was coming the week after they got back and there was still a lot to be done.
His dad told him he was being irresponsible running off for a week with a girl he’d just met when they were starting to prepare for the arrival. Maybe it wasn’t great timing, but he wouldn’t call it irresponsible. His phone was on him if anyone needed to talk to him about anything and his dad knew that.
Even so, he knew that the cup coming to town soon wasn’t why his father was so upset. He was upset over Misty. He simply refused to believe that they were just friends. His dad just couldn’t understand how two people spent so much time together without dating. Just like with everyone else, it was hard to explain.
It had taken about a week for Sidney to find that he and Misty had a lot in common. They’d gotten close fast, and as strange as it was for that to happen to him, it just felt right. They’d only known each other for a month and a half, but he felt like Misty had always been in his life. It hit him as he thought about it. It sounded crazy, but she’d become his best friend.
He glanced over at her and saw that her head was resting back on the seat and her eyes were closed. She had no makeup on, her hair was in some sort of messy ponytail, and she was wearing a pair of lululemon capris and a plain t-shirt. Despite her lack of effort she looked beautiful.
Misty had turned into the person he wanted to call first with good and bad news. When he was bored he went to her. He knew that he’d always be able to tell her everything and he could trust her with it all. It was absolutely crazy but they were connected somehow. He didn’t care what his father said. Misty was in his life and he didn’t want that to end.
“Hey, Sid? I forgot to tell you something,” she said interrupting his thoughts.
Sidney looked over at me with his eyebrows raised. Okay, just tell him. Just get it out there and see how he reacts. There was nothing that could be done about it now. I gave him a small smile before I opened my mouth.
“I kind of didn’t tell my family that you were coming with me,” I told him.
“What?! Why not?” he asked in shock.
“Okay, you have to understand something. I love my family. They’re really great and I wouldn’t trade them in for anything. The thing is my parents have big mouths. If I’d told them you were coming, the whole state of NY would be outside of their house when we pulled into the driveway. It’s not because they’re trying to name drop or anything, they’re just not good at being discreet,” I explained. Sidney didn’t say anything for a moment and I waited for his response.
“Dealing with the whole state of NY after a 14 hour road trip is probably my own personal idea of hell,” he joked. I smiled in relief before remembering there was more.
“Well, I’m glad we have that cleared up. There’s just one more thing.” Sidney gave me another look. “My brother’s kind of a superfan. Not in a bad creepy way, he’s just a really big Rangers fan. The thing is he kind of hates you.”
“He doesn’t even know me!” Sidney exclaimed.
“I know, I know. You should be able to understand. There are plenty of people out there that don’t know you that hate you simply because of rivalries and such. If it makes you feel better, he hates Ovechkin too.” Sidney turned his head and glared at me. “Sorry.”
“You’re lucky we’re too far from Cole Harbour to turn around right now.” I laughed and rolled my eyes.
“Can I ask you something?” I asked a few minutes later. Sidney nodded. “Why did you want to come with me?” Sidney didn’t respond for a moment.
“I told you. I wanted to see where you grew up,” he finally responded.
“Yeah, I know what you said. I just never believed it. Why did you really want to come?”
Sidney pulled off the highway at a service area. I looked at him questioningly and he pointed to the gas gauge. It was almost on empty. How convenient. We both got out of the car and I put Bauer on his leash and let him out. I figured Sidney was going to head straight inside to grab food but he followed me over to the patch of grass I was taking Bauer to.
“I was worried about you traveling so far by yourself. I found a way to make sure you were okay and I took it. I just didn’t like the thought of you being alone and doing this,” he explained. I was surprised by his answer.
“I’ve done this plenty of times by myself. I’m completely capable, you know.”
“I know, but I can’t help it. I worry about people I’m close to.”
He turned and walked away to head inside, leaving me standing there in shock. I felt myself start to smile as I watched him walk further away. My heart felt like it was fluttering as I thought about him worrying about me. He cared. Even if it was just as a friend, he cared about me. I’d take whatever I could get from him, because I knew that my life would never be the same with him in it.
When everything was taken care of we got back on the road. We finally reached home and walked into the hotel we’d booked a room at. It was too late to stop over at my parent’s house, so we decided to do that the next day. Sidney walked inside to check us in as I pulled our stuff out of the car. I smiled over at him when I saw him walk back outside.
“So, there’s a little problem,” he told me. My face fell.
“What happened?” I asked.
“They gave us a room with just a king size bed. I tried to get another room but they’re booked full.”
“That’s okay. King size beds have plenty of room,” I told him, not thinking much of it at the time.
“I can sleep on the couch,” he offered.
“Don’t be ridiculous. We’ll both fit.” It didn’t seem like a big deal to me at all. It was sweet however that he offered to sleep on the couch and let me have the bed. Such a gentleman.
We got inside and unpacked our stuff before settling in for the night. We were both tired from traveling those 14 hours and we just collapsed on the bed. We turned on a random movie on HBO and barely made it through the whole thing. When we crawled under the blankets it was obvious we were both trying to avoid overstepping boundaries. There was a huge gap between us which Bauer took over. At least he’d be a barrier and would make things a little less awkward at night. Sleep took me over quickly and didn’t allow me much time to think about the fact that only a dog separated us in bed.