I received a question on the last chapter asking why Mason Raymond. It's a pretty simple answer. I knew what I wanted to be the background for Misty. I wanted her to have given up her life and dreams and drop out of college to be with her boyfriend, a hockey player. I also knew what her age was, so I had to then find a list of NHLers who would have been in college at the same time as she would have been. Then I wanted to pick someone that was probably least likely to know Sidney and was still cute at the same time. Hence, Mason Raymond. I hope that helps! Thanks for all the comments on the last chapter too, everyone! I really appreciate it all.
Sidney turned his head at the unexpected voice. He didn’t get up, didn’t even move when their eyes locked. He was too upset about everything and too stunned at who was standing there to do much of anything. It took him a minute to respond and even when he did he couldn’t muster any emotion into his voice.
“What are you doing here, Callie?” he asked. She smiled over at him and flipped her hair over her shoulder, showing off the revealing strapless top she was wearing. He then noticed the six pack in her other hand.
“I heard you were coming home from Olympic camp today. I wanted to come over and see how it went.” She was lying, and he knew it. She’d never given a shit about how anything in hockey had gone before unless it made him money he could spend on her.
“It was fine,” he responded shortly. She either didn’t notice the mood he was in, or didn’t care. She made her way from the doorway and sat down next to him on the couch.
“If it was so fine, why are you here alone instead of out celebrating?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, Callie, I’m just not in the mood right now. Can we talk later or something?” He didn’t care if he sounded like an asshole or if he was giving her hope by saying they could talk later. He just wanted her out of his house.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, giving him her best concerned look he was sure she’d practiced in front of the mirror. The day she cared what anyone else was feeling was the day hell would freeze over.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” She pouted at him before grabbing a beer and opening it.
“Take this and tell me what’s going on.”
Reluctantly he took the beer from her and took a long swig. He figured his friends were going to be there soon with something stronger. For now he was going to take whatever alcohol he could get and if that meant he had to deal with Callie, then so be it. She sat there quietly as he took another swig.
“Sidney,” she prodded. He sighed. She was the last person he wanted to talk to about this, and yet he couldn’t seem to stop himself. He just wanted it all out of his head.
“Misty’s engaged.” Callie looked surprised, and he wasn’t sure if she was surprised about the engagement or him being upset about it.
“To who?” Sidney had a quick fantasy of running Mason through with a stick.
“Her ex, Mason.”
“The other hockey player,” Callie concluded. Sidney nodded and took another drink of his beer. “You’re not happy for her?”
“Not a fucking chance.” It was out before Sidney realized he’d said it. It was one thing to tell Callie that Misty was engaged. It was another to tell Callie how he felt about Misty.
“You’re in love with her?” There was hurt in the question, but Sidney didn’t give a shit about Callie’s feelings right now.
“No.” He’d lied, but this was not something he was going to discuss with his ex-girlfriend. Callie smiled a little and moved closer to him, putting her hand on his knee.
“I could help you forget,” she whispered into his ear.
“Not what I’m looking for, Callie,” he declined. She didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer. She moved her hand further up his leg and shifted so that if she were any closer to him, she’d be on his lap.
“Maybe not, but I promise it’ll help.”
He turned his head to tell her she should go. Before he had a chance, she’d planted her mouth to his. He was stunned and it took him a minute to register what was going on. By the time his brain had caught up to the kiss, Callie was straddling him. He grabbed her by the hips and prepared to practically throw her off of him.
“Sidney? Sid, we have to talk about…..oh, I’m sorry.”
Callie pulled her mouth from his just as he whipped his head around to look at the door, where the voice had come from. He felt nauseous when he saw Misty standing in the open doorway. She was looking at him with red-rimmed eyes that told him she’d been crying, and a look of pure shock. Her eyes shifted back and forth between him and Callie. It took him another minute to realize Callie was still straddling him.
“I can see this is a bad time. I’ll get out of your way.” Misty turned and bolted out the door.
“Misty!” he called after her. He shoved Callie off of his lap and jumped up from the couch. She didn’t reappear in the doorway.
“Awkward,” Callie muttered behind him with a giggle.
“Shut up!” he spat at her. She looked utterly stunned at his tone.
“You need to leave,” he demanded, glaring at her. She opened her mouth to argue, but thought better of it and walked out the door.
He grabbed his car keys and walked out the door himself a moment later. For the first time since he’d seen the box Mason was holding at Misty’s he felt something. He wasn’t numb anymore. It wasn’t because Misty had caught him with Callie on his lap. It was because when she’d bolted out the door, closing it behind her, he’d noticed that there was no ring on her left hand.
I pulled back into my driveway and shut off the car. I let my head fall to the steering wheel and started to cry. A car door slamming next door jolted my head up. Not wanting to look like a lunatic crying in my car in the driveway, I got out and made my way inside. I paced around the living room with the image of Callie straddling Sidney, their lips interlocked, burned into my brain. I picked up my phone, walked into my bedroom, and called the one person I could talk to.
“Misty!” Evanne’s voice greeted me cheerfully. I sobbed in response. “Jesus, Mist, what’s wrong?” I took a deep breath before starting.
“Mason was here.”
“What? Why?” she asked in surprise.
“He asked me to marry him.” I heard her sharp intake of breath and there was silence on her end for a moment.
“What did you say?” I collapsed down onto my bed.
“I turned him down.”
“Good.” I was too shocked at the comment to respond. “Look, I know you loved him, but I never liked him. You were too good for him. He treated you like a trophy, not someone he loved and respected.”
“I know.” It was hard to admit, but deep down I’d always known. “Sidney was here when it happened.”
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“Sidney was here when Mason came. He left before the proposal, but he knew what was going on.” Evanne sighed.
“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?” she asked. New tears started to fall down my face.
“Yes,” I choked out.
“You have to talk to him.”
“I tried. I went over after Mason left. Evie, I found his ex-girlfriend straddling him on the couch,” I sobbed out. Evanne cursed.
“Listen to me. I know how he feels about you. I saw it firsthand. The guy’s crazy about you. He was probably upset when Mason showed up and just needed something to forget. I might have done the same thing if I were him.”
She was right. At least I hoped she was right. I hoped more than anything that Sidney felt the same way about me that I felt about him and he had just been doing what she’d said. I could get over what I’d seen if that was the case. I was about to respond to Evie when I heard my front door fly open.
“Misty!” Sidney’s voice rang out.
“Who is that?” Evie asked.
“Call me back tomorrow.” I hung up the phone without responding and slowly made my way out of the bedroom.
Sidney was already on his way down the hallway when I walked out. He froze in place when our eyes locked. We stood there for a moment just staring at each other until he broke the stare. I watched as his eyes shifted from my face to my left hand. I covered it self-consciously and turned my gaze down to the floor.
“You’re not wearing a ring,” I heard him say. I shook my head before looking back up at him. “What happened?”
“They say that if a man really knows and loves his girlfriend he’ll have no problem buying her a ring that she’ll love when he proposes. He’ll buy a ring that matches her perfectly. The ring Mason bought was amazing,” I said. He looked at me in confusion.
“I don’t understand.” I wiped a few tears from my cheeks before continuing.
“It was amazing, but it didn’t feel right. I looked at it and I couldn’t imagine wearing that ring for the rest of my life. It made me realize that Mason doesn’t know me at all. He never did. I can’t marry someone that doesn’t know or understand me.”
“I’m sorry.” I shrugged at his comment. At least now he knew I wasn’t going to marry Mason. “I was in the middle of pushing Callie off of me when you walked in.” I hadn’t expected the comment and it took me by surprise. Too many things were surprising me tonight.
“I didn’t ask her to come over. She just showed up and before I knew what was going on, she was on top of me. I was about to push her off of me when you came in.”
I felt such relief hearing that, that I laughed. I didn’t just laugh, I nearly doubled over in laughter. Sidney looked at me strangely for a moment, before joining in. The two of us stood in the middle of my hallway laughing for no reason other than the fact that we didn’t really know what else to do.
“God, I’m tired,” I finally managed to say. Sidney smiled at me understandingly.
“Bed?” I suggested. He just nodded before following me back into my bedroom.
I crawled into bed with him right behind me. He wrapped his arms around me before pulling me into him. I rested my head on his chest and closed my eyes. I think we were both too emotionally exhausted from tonight to talk about anything else right now. Instead I turned my brain off from everything except the feel of his arms around me as I fell asleep.