Sidney finished up the interviews with the press and got into the shower. He’d allowed himself to be talked into going to Diesel tonight. Normally he didn’t go out at all, instead choosing to stay out of the limelight whenever possible, but the guys had been relentless. As he got dressed, Flower made his way over to him.
“I have to stick around a bit and ice my shoulder after that shot I took in the last minute. I’ll be a while. Is there any way you can take Vero to Diesel with you?” he asked.
“Yeah, of course,” he agreed.
“Thanks, man. And remember, you touch her, you die,” Flower joked.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said with a laugh.
Sidney made his way to the family room and found Vero in conversation with some of the other girls that were left. He explained the situation to her and she followed him to his car. Vero was like a sister to him and he never minded spending time with her. He held the door open for her as they stepped outside.
“Thank you, mon ami,” Vero said to him. He crooked his elbow and held his arm out for her. She linked her arm with his and he walked her to his car.
“Marc told me he’d kill me if I touched you. Good thing he’s not here to see this,” Sidney told her. She looked up at him and laughed.
“It’ll be our little secret,” she responded. Sidney laughed and leaned over to whisper in her ear.
“Ours and the dozens of people out here. Think they like me better?” Vero just laughed again as they reached his car. He opened the door for her and helped her in before going to the driver’s side and getting in himself.
Vero got to work getting in contact with everyone else about the night as Sidney started signing autographs. She was usually the social chair for get-togethers. Sidney handed an autograph back to a fan when he glanced up and out his windshield. His breath caught in his throat when he saw a pair of bright blue eyes peering in at him.
“No way,” he whispered. Vero glanced over at him but he didn’t say anything more as the blue eyes disappeared as quickly as they’d appeared. It had been too dark and had happened too quickly for him to see any other features on the girl, but he hadn’t seen eyes like that on anyone else. Was it possible?
“Sid, are you okay?” Vero asked, her voice laced with concern. It snapped him back to reality.
“Sorry, I have to go,” Sidney apologized to the rest of the fans waiting for an autograph.
He didn’t have time to keep signing. He had to find out if it was her. He pulled the car up to the road and looked up and down the street hoping to see where she’d gone. Unfortunately there were groups of people all over. Where was she?
“Okay, Sidney, you need to tell me what’s going on,” Vero demanded.
“Misty. I thought I just saw Misty,” he told her, keeping his eyes on the lookout. He heard Vero’s sharp intake of breath next to him.
“The girl from the summer is here? Where?” Vero was now looking around as well.
“I don’t know. I only saw her for a second.”
“Are you sure it was her?” Vero asked. He just turned and looked at her. “Right, how silly of me to question you. You’re only in love with her.” Sidney groaned and didn’t respond. He’d made the mistake of talking to Vero about Misty.
“I think I know where she is,” he said as a sudden realization hit him.
He pulled out onto the street and drove to the only place he could think of that Misty would be. He got out of the car when he got to the coffee shop without a word to Vero. He could see inside and saw a girl standing at the counter. He began to smile. It was her.
I’d wiped the tears away before walking into the coffee shop I’d scoped out when I’d gotten to town. I wanted to at least hold it together until I got back to the hotel room for the night. There was only one other person in there when I walked up to the counter. I ignored them and placed my order.
I stared at the countertop, fixated on one spot as I waited for my coffee. It was the only way I could keep myself from breaking down right here and bawling my eyes out. The cup was placed in front of me and without picking my head up, I turned to walk out. When I did I walked right into a body standing directly behind me.
“God, could you stand a little closer, creep?!” I shouted in anger at whoever this person was.
I heard a laugh in response. I jerked my head up, daggers in my eyes as I got ready to yell at the asshole again. Before another scathing comment left my mouth I staggered back a few steps when I saw who I’d run into.
“Maybe you should pay more attention to where you’re going when you have hot coffee in your hands,” Sidney said to me, a smile playing on his lips.
“Sid?” I choked out.
“How are you surprised to see me? Shouldn’t it be me that’s surprised to see you?” he asked.
“I.....I just.....I wanted coffee,” I stammered, still shocked.
“You came all the way to Pittsburgh for coffee?” he questioned.
“No, I came to surprise you, but....." I stopped talking. What was I going to say that didn’t make me sound jealous?
“But you ran instead?” He looked really confused and hurt as I got embarrassed.
“You saw me?” He nodded and his face fell.
“Why did you run from me?” I struggled to think of something to say when the brunette walked into the shop. She was even more beautiful up close.
“Sid, is everything okay?” she asked in a French accent.
“Yeah, I think so. Vero, this is Misty. Misty, this is Vero,” he introduced us.
The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it. How did I know it? Had I just been stupid enough to listen to Sid talk about a girl he was seeing or sleeping with in Pittsburgh during the summer without realizing it? Vero looked like she was about to say something, but I just wanted to get out of there.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry for interrupting your night. I’m just going to go now.” I lowered my eyes and started to head for the door. I felt Sidney grab on to my arm.
“What? You came here to see me and now you’re just going to leave?” I looked between the two of them and knew my face was getting red.
“I.....I didn’t know about.....I should have called first.” I wanted to die. Suddenly Vero laughed.
“I’m not dating Sidney!” she exclaimed. Both Sidney and I turned our eyes to her in surprise.
“What’s going on? Why would you say that?” Sidney asked in confusion. Vero just looked across the café at me with a smile.
“I’m dating Marc-Andre Fleury. Sidney was taking me out to a club while Marc stayed back to ice his shoulder,” she explained. I felt my cheeks turning bright red as I then remembered why her name had sounded familiar. Sidney had said she was like a sister to him. Then I started to laugh.
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” Sidney said in confusion as he looked between the two of us.
“Don’t worry about it, Crosby. Moments over,” I told him.
“You should come out with us. We’ll introduce you to everyone. How long are you in town for?” Vero asked.
“I’m not sure. I just planned to stay for a day or two depending on Sid. I don’t exactly know that I’m dressed to go out.” She looked me over.
“Do you have anything else with you?” she asked.
“Yeah, at the hotel.”
“Then we’ll go there so you can change. Sidney let’s go,” she ordered.
She linked her arm through mine like we were old friends and we left Sidney standing in the café as we got into the car, chatting away. He gave us a strange look and made a comment about girls being strange before driving us to the hotel. We went upstairs and I pulled out my suitcase. Vero helped me pick and I changed quickly.
“Tell her to stay longer than a day or two,” I heard Vero telling Sidney in a hushed tone through the bathroom door.
“It’s not up to me how long she stays,” he responded. I could hear Vero’s sigh.
“Are you dumb? She said it depended on you. Now she drove all the way down here to see you. If you let her leave that soon you’re an idiot.” Deciding that I didn't want to continue to eavesdrop I walked out of the bathroom and pretended I hadn’t heard any of the conversation.
“Better?” I asked.
“Yes, much. Now let’s head out. Marc’s going to be worried you stole me away,” Vero joked winking over at Sidney. The three of us walked out of the hotel room and got back into Sidney’s car as he drove us to a place called Diesel. I had to admit, just being around him again had my heart fluttering like crazy.