I just wanted to thank everyone for the comments on the last few chapters. For a while I was starting to lose my will to write, but you've all reignited it. I'm so glad there are so many of you that seem to like my writing. I'd never had much confidence in it until I came on here and started posting chapters for all of you. I can't begin to tell you how much those comments meant. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Sidney was having a hell of a past nine months. He’d won the Stanley Cup, met a girl, fell in love, and then won a gold medal. Now that he thought about it, they’d been the best nine months of his life so far. He wasn’t sure anything would ever be able to top going first overall in the draft, but that paled in comparison.
He glanced over at the sleeping form next to him and smiled. He’d never look upon another girl and think she even came close to being as beautiful as Misty was. How he’d gotten so lucky to land her, he’d never know. He just knew that he couldn’t risk losing her ever. She stirred a little, just enough to roll over and snuggle up close to him.
Bauer jumped up in response to the movement and began turning circles before becoming satisfied again and plopping back down onto the bed. That was another thing Sidney couldn’t believe. He was allowing a dog to sleep in bed with him. Before Misty he never would have considered it. Now he couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Sidney closed his eyes and tried to shut off his brain. He needed to get some sleep. He was just so tired. No, not tired, exhausted. He’d played so much hockey in the last two years. It was more than most. He needed every minute of sleep he could get with the first playoff game tomorrow.
When he woke up the next morning he was alone in bed. He made a face, wishing that he could have woken up with Misty in his arms. There just wasn’t a better way to start off a morning in his opinion. He made his way downstairs, and the scent of food and coffee struck him the closer he got.
“It smells amazing,” he announced as he walked into the kitchen. Misty glanced at him over her shoulder and smiled.
“I wasn’t sure what you’d want, so I made a few things.”
He watched from his seat at the island in the kitchen as she pulled a skillet off the stovetop. She dumped the contents onto a platter before turning back to the stove and stirring something. Then she dumped the contents of that into a bowl before grabbing a container out of the refrigerator and dumping some into the bowl as well, and stirring it up. Just as she finished he heard the toaster oven go off.
“You weren’t kidding,” he commented as she carried it all over and sat down next to him.
He surveyed his options and decided he wanted a little bit of it all. It wasn’t his typical game day breakfast, but Misty had taught him that breaking from tradition was sometimes a good thing. He dished out some scrambled egg whites, spooned some of the oatmeal with berries mixed in into a bowl, and grabbed some toast.
“I wasn’t sure what you wanted on it all,” Misty told him, handing him salsa and ketchup for the eggs and maple syrup and honey for the oatmeal. Then she passed him an apple and a banana to choose from.
“Why can’t you live with me again?” he joked as he took a bite. She rolled her eyes and playfully smacked him on the shoulder before beginning to eat her breakfast as well. “Seriously though, thank you. This is amazing.” She smiled over at him and gave him a quick kiss.
When he was done he left his dishes for Misty like she told him to and went upstairs to get dressed. He made sure to give her another kiss and thank her again before he left for morning skate. She’d only been in town for a couple of days, but he was already used to having her here. Even if she didn’t cook for him every morning he was looking forward to having her here with him all the time.
He’d missed her in the two months they’d been apart after the Olympics. Misty had wanted to keep working and make money for school. She’d officially enrolled at Pitt for the fall semester and despite getting financial aid, she still had to pay some tuition. He’d understood, but it had been hard to be away from her for that long. Now he was just happy to have her around for the duration of playoffs. She’d promised that she’d stick around until they were over.
“You make me sick when you walk in here looking like that,” Max told him as he walked through the locker room door. Sidney just grinned over at him.
“Morning, Talbot,” he responded.
It was time to get serious then and focus on the upcoming game. They couldn’t take Ottawa lightly. The guys skated and then he headed straight home. After making him his usual pre-game meal, Misty got out of his way and let him be for the rest of the afternoon. He appreciated her effort to let him have some of his superstitions in place. When he was done with lunch he headed upstairs for his nap, and then it was game time.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do it!” I agreed with a laugh. I’d been trying to refuse the snakebites Max had been handing out to the table for a few minutes now, but no one was letting me get away with it.
“She’s in!” Kelsey exclaimed, holding up her shot glass. We all joined her in the gesture and lifted our glasses in the air before downing them in one sip.
“I am now officially done taking shots, so don’t bother asking me to do more,” I announced as I got up from the table. I made my way over to where Sidney was standing with Gogo and TK.
“You doing okay over there?” he asked, a smirk on his face. I narrowed my eyes at him in false anger.
“Shove it, Crosby,” I shot back. He laughed and led me over to the bar to grab refills on both of our drinks.
The Penguins had lost out against Montreal a couple of nights ago, and now the guys were out just letting off some steam. Obviously no one was happy that they were no longer defending their title as Stanley Cup Champions, but they didn’t want to wallow either. This was more a celebration of what they’d accomplished in the past few seasons than a drunken pity party.
It was nice to see Sidney loosen up after the past month. I’d understood why he was so uptight, and I’d dealt with it the best I could, mostly just staying out of his way. Even so, I was much happier seeing him without any stress on his shoulders, at least for a little while. He didn’t get to just enjoy himself very often, so this was a nice refreshing moment.
“I’m glad you’re here,” Max slurred as he came up and slid an arm over my shoulders. I’m pretty sure he did it more to keep himself upright than as a friendly gesture.
“I’m glad I’m here too,” I told him.
“You’ve kept the kid from taking things too seriously this season. He was finally able to just play for once and look where it got him. 51 fucking goals, man!”
“Are you trying to mow my lawn, Talbot?” Sidney asked walking back over with our drinks. Max took his arm off my shoulders and swayed unsteadily for a moment.
“Nope, just telling Misty how much more fun you are now,” he responded, clinking his glass with Sid’s. I glanced over at Sidney and bit my lower lip to keep from laughing as Sidney took the drink out of Max’s hand.
“I think you’re done for the night, Superstar,” Sid told him.
“No, I’m good. I’m fine.” Max finished that off with a string of French that I’m sure didn’t even make sense to anyone who spoke the language. He then stumbled and Sid had to catch him.
“Okay, buddy, I think we need to get you home,” I said, helping Sidney with him. He just grinned stupidly over at me.
“You’re pretty,” came his response. I rolled my eyes at him and laughed before saying goodbye to everyone and practically carrying Max out of the club with Sidney.
We put him in the back of Sid’s car and decided it would just be easier to bring him back to Sidney’s place and put him in the guest room. Max was passed out by the time we got there and we could hardly wake him up to get him inside. He collapsed down onto the bed and we put a couple of bottles of water on the nightstand next to him before closing him in.
The next morning I woke up and decided to check on Max and see how he was doing. I knocked on the door but didn’t receive an answer. I turned the knob and opened the door to see Max lying flat on his back on top of the blankets, spread eagle, and completely naked. I immediately squeezed my eyes closed at the sight. Let’s just say catching him naked in the morning was not a great sight for my eyes.
“Morning,” I heard him mumble. He must have heard me come in. I opened my eyes figuring that he was in the process of covering himself up. I was wrong. He wasn’t making any effort to hide his nakedness and even smirked over at me. “Everything okay?”
“I just wanted to check on you after the performance you put on last night,” I told him, keeping my eyes focused on his.
“I feel like shit,” he told me with a laugh. He stood up from the bed then, and I covered my eyes.
“Easy sheriff. Watch where you point that thing.” He laughed at my comment and I heard him putting clothes on.
“Thanks for taking my drunk ass in last night.”
“Thank Sidney. I wanted to leave you on a street corner,” I cracked.
Max followed me out of the room and downstairs where Sidney was waiting with water and coffee ready. The three of us hung out and talked for a while, mostly about the end of the year party there was going to be. Max grabbed a cab home a little while later and Sidney gave me a long kiss afterwards. I wondered how the hell I was going to be able to go all summer without seeing him.