I stood in front of my closet and perused my options. What did one wear on a dinner cruise? I’d immediately thought about a simple black strapless Ralph Lauren dress I had with a white sash around the waist then shook my head. We were going to be out on a boat on the water and it would probably be windy. That meant I needed some sort of jacket or wrap to wear over it. Maybe I should just wear a nice shirt and pants. No, I can’t wear pants on a dinner cruise. Dammit, this sucked. At this rate my hair was going to air dry before I’d even picked out what to wear.
Sidney and I had returned from my hometown a couple days ago. He’d spent just about the entire car ride back to Cole Harbour trying to talk me into joining his friends and family with him on the dinner cruise to celebrate day one of him having the Stanley Cup. I’d balked at it every time he asked telling him he deserved to enjoy it with the people who’d known him back when he’d won it, and had been supporting him for years. He wouldn’t hear it and said that it just wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t there. Eventually I gave in.
I looked down at Bauer and asked him what I should wear. He tilted his head to the side like he was telling me he had no idea either. I sighed and went over my options again. Despite the fact that I was much more comfortable in pants and a shirt, I ended up choosing the Ralph Lauren dress and a black wrap in case it got cold and paired it with a pair of black open toed heels.
I spent the next 45 minutes getting ready. I wasn’t sure I’d ever spent that long on hair and makeup before in my life. That just wasn’t my style. Even so, for some reason, I wanted to look perfect tonight. I looked at my smokey eyes, red lips, and softly curled hair and smiled. Maybe I should make myself up like this more often.
I grabbed a clutch and threw some stuff in just as I saw headlights sweep into the driveway. I gave myself one last glance in the mirror before running out and getting into Zara’s SUV. I smiled at Walker, Caden, and Valerie as I got in. I was about to ask where Wesley was when I heard a voice come from the trunk behind me.
“Jesus, Misty, you look hot.” I laughed as I turned and smiled at Wes.
“I’m not sure whether to be flattered or offended by that,” I joked.
“You’re always hot, but this is different. You’re fucking hot now,” he returned. I laughed again.
“Wait until Sidney sees you,” Walker commented. I gave him a strange look.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked. I watched as Zara and Valerie rolled their eyes at me and the guys exchanged looks with each other.
“Don’t worry about it,” Caden told me. I let it go, not exactly in the mood to go where this conversation looked to be heading.
The car pulled into a parking lot a little while later. We all filed out of the car and made our way towards the ship. We were joking and laughing as we gave our names in order to board. Wesley wrapped his arm around my shoulders as we made our way inside to where others were standing and talking. I immediately started searching for Sidney once inside. Wesley laughed next to me.
“He’s in the corner,” he told me knowingly and pointing. I looked in the direction he was pointing and saw Sidney talking to a small group with the Cup sitting next to him. “Go on,” Wesley urged. I gave him a sheepish smile before walking in Sidney’s direction.
I took a deep breath and then slowly made my way through the growing crowd of people. I smoothed my dress probably a good 50 times and fluffed my hair another 50 in the short distance that had been between us. I was nervous and I didn’t like it. Christ, Misty, it’s just Sid. Relax.
I was almost to him when he turned and his eyes locked on mine. He halted mid-laugh and his smile faded when he saw me. What was wrong with him? Did I look that bad? Sidney’s reaction to me was obvious to everyone he was talking to and they all turned in my direction. I felt suddenly self-conscious with all eyes on me. I gave them a small nervous smile as I forced myself to finish the walk to them.
“Hey,” I greeted quietly. Sidney just stood there without saying a word. I had time to shift from one foot to another and still he said nothing.
“It seems that Crosby here has forgotten his manners. I’m Maxime Talbot, but you can call me Max,” the attractive guy next to him said, holding out his hand. I smiled at him and shook his hand.
“Ah, the game 7 hero. I’m Misty Fontana.” The rest of the group introduced themselves and still Sidney said nothing.
“So, Misty, how do you know this jackass?” Max asked me, jerking his thumb in Sidney’s direction. My eyes shifted over to Sidney and I saw his expression hadn’t changed much.
“I dumped coffee on him accidentally a couple of months ago. He was nice enough to forgive me,” I told him.
“When a beautiful girl does something like that, any sane guy would forgive her,” Max replied with a smile.
“Hey, Sidney, your grandmothers are here!” I heard Troy call from behind us. Sidney gave a small smile and a nod to me before walking away to follow his father. I watched him walk away, wondering what the hell was going on.
“Can I get you a drink?” Max offered, wrapping an arm around my waist. I smiled and nodded. I was going to need a drink to deal with Sidney if he was going to be like this all night. Maybe I shouldn’t have come afterall.
Sidney walked away from Misty to follow his father and wanted an anvil to fall out of the sky and land on him. He was a jerk. Why the hell hadn’t he said anything? He hugged both of his grandmothers as he thought about it. He hadn’t said anything because he’d been stunned into silence. Misty looked incredible.
When he saw her walking in his direction he’d lost all capabilities to think. He’d been mid-conversation and suddenly couldn’t even remember what they’d been talking about or even who he’d been talking to. His mind was just a jumbled mess the moment he’d seen her. He wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked, but his brain wasn’t sending the message to his mouth. Even as he heard Max introducing himself to her he still couldn’t form words. He was lucky he’d understood what his father had said. Now he looked like a royal asshole.
He made his rounds and talked to everyone on board as the ship pulled away from the dock. Even as he tried to concentrate on them his eyes kept finding their way to Misty. Every time they found her she took his breath away. It was a struggle to think of anything but her.
Then he slowly realized that every time he saw her he saw Max as well. He recognized all the signs as soon as he focused on it. Max was hitting on her. Goddammit, why did all his friends hit on her? First Jack and now Talbot. Of course it had to be the two guys who had the most success with girls too. Those motherfuckers.
Jealousy raged through him as he watched Max snake his arm around Misty’s waist and saw that she didn’t pull away. He should have said something earlier. Maybe if he’d said something Max would have left her alone. Now he could do nothing but watch since he had to make sure to make time for everyone.
“Dude, you’re an idiot,” Walker managed to tell him at one point. He couldn’t agree more.
When it was time to sit down for dinner Misty sat at a table far from him and right next to Max, who seemed to have attached himself to her hip. Sidney clenched his jaw when he saw that Misty didn’t exactly seem to mind. When dinner was over and the ship was headed back he finally broke away from everyone and made his way over to Misty, who for once was without Max.
“You look beautiful tonight,” he told her. She turned and looked at him in surprise, her eyebrows lifted.
“Thank you,” she said with a small smile. She sounded unsure.
“I’m sorry about earlier, I’m just not used to seeing you like this. It took me by surprise,” he explained. She furrowed her brows together as she thought about that.
“Yeah, I guess this look just doesn’t work for me,” she said glancing down at herself.
“No, it does. It really does,” he assured her. She gave him a real smile for the first time and he returned it. “Let me introduce you to some people.” She nodded and he took her by the hand and led her around the ship. She joked and laughed with everyone and they all seemed to love her.
The ship docked and his group of friends and family began to file off to head home. Tomorrow was another day and another celebration. Sidney had to say goodbye to everyone but he made sure to catch Misty before she left. He made sure to tell her again how amazing she looked and told her he’d see her tomorrow at his house.
The next day he was busy running around and talking to everyone who came to his house for the party. He didn’t even know when Misty had gotten there, only that at some point he had turned around and she was standing there talking with Max with a drink in her hand. He started to make his way over to her, but was called away for something else. By the time he was done, he couldn’t find her.
When he did see her again she was carrying a tray of food outside and replacing an empty one with it. As he talked with some of his family he kept an eye on her and saw her do the same thing with a few more trays. He finally broke away and made his way over to her. She turned to him and smiled after arranging some food around.
“Hey!” she called to him.
“What are you doing?” he asked. She shrugged.
“The food was running out,” she said simply, like it was her job to replace it.
“Did someone put you up to this?” he wondered. She shook her head.
“No, I just saw that it needed to be done and your family deserves to enjoy this day instead of working on it.” Was she serious? She was doing it on her own because she saw that it needed to be? They talked for a few more minutes before he was pulled away once again.
The next time he saw Misty she was sitting at a table with his two grandmothers. As he watched she listened to them talk, laughed along with them, and chatted away. She even looked like she was having a good time doing it. He noticed that she kept getting up and bringing back plates of food and drinks for them so they wouldn’t have to get up and deal with the crowd of people themselves.
As the day wore on they hardly talked, but he was always aware of what she was doing. She had basically overtaken the job as the hostess so that his mother, who had been doing it, would be able to enjoy the day. Misty was running back and forth making sure everyone there had anything they would need.
He couldn’t even begin to describe how amazing that was. She was doing it on her own with a smile on her face. He found himself realizing that he would probably never find another girl who would do this for him and his family without a complaint. God, she was perfect.
He walked inside for a break from the crowd for a moment and found Misty in the kitchen doing something at the counter. He saw Sam and Bauer standing at attention, wagging their tails as they watched her. Sidney realized that she was feeding them dinner. Even with everything going on, she hadn’t forgotten about them.
“Thanks for doing that,” he said, walking over to stand next to her. She glanced over and smiled.
“I figured their food was better for them than the scraps they’ve been getting all day from everyone,” she joked. “Why aren’t you out there mingling?”
“I needed a break.” She gave him an understanding look before she placed the dog bowls on the floor. Sam and Bauer immediately rushed to their dinners.
“Do you need a drink?” she offered, grabbing a bottle of water for herself. He shook his head. Then he put an arm around her waist and placed a kiss on her temple.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done today.” She didn’t have a chance to respond.
“Sidney?” Troy interrupted them. He turned to see his father standing in the kitchen looking at the two of them. He looked like he'd witnessed the kiss and he was not very pleased about it. Sidney dutifully followed his father outside to continue to mingle.
Hours later almost everyone was gone, and the few that were still around were currently inside scoping out a place to crash. He stood at the end of his dock staring out at the water, grateful for some peace and quiet. He was thankful for these past two days, but they had been exhausting. He heard someone walk up behind him and turned to see Misty.
“I’m tired,” she said when she stopped next to him. He just nodded as they stood there in silence for a while. At some point she rested her head on his shoulder and he put his arm around her. They stood like that for a while until he felt like he was going to pass out.
“I have to get to bed,” he told her. She nodded and followed him inside. She grabbed a blanket and started to settle herself onto the couch. He wasn’t having any of that and grabbed her hand, leading her up to his room. They’d slept together before so he wasn’t letting her sleep on a couch now.
“Misty, I know I already said this a little earlier, but thank you. I don’t know why you took over today, but I know that I and my entire family appreciated it. My mom thought she’d be too busy to enjoy today, but you made it possible for her to. Thank you.” She smiled at him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Congratulations,” she whispered to him.
She slowly began to pull away, her arms just sliding down from his neck. He caught her gaze and fought the urge to kiss her. Then she did it again. He still wasn’t sure if it was on purpose, but she licked her lips. He lost the battle and pressed his lips to hers. She returned the kiss and he backed her up to the bed where they fell back, with him on top of her. She cuddled up to him when they were spent and he fell asleep with her in his arms.
“Good morning, sleepyhead!” a voice yelled out, causing both he and Misty to bolt upright in bed. He looked over to see Max standing in the doorway. Max’s eyes went wide in surprise before he grinned. “I guess I should say sleepyheads.”
“Max, really?” Sidney grumbled as Misty pulled the sheets tighter around her.
“What? We have to go.” Sidney glanced at the clock and knew he was right. The Cup was leaving this morning and he had to accompany it.
“I’ll be right down.” Max closed the door and Sidney got out of bed and got dressed. “You can stay here and get more sleep if you want,” he said to Misty.
“I have to get Bauer outside anyway. I’ll talk to you later though.” He nodded before walking out of the bedroom and heading downstairs.
“Good for you!” Max called out when he got down there.
“Don't even,” he shot at him as they walked out the door.