Monday, January 24, 2011
soooo sorry about how long it's taken me to do this...yickey stuff going on at work it's just sort of hard for me to get into a good head space so my apologies but here is another installment
Edie lifted her face into the spray and momentarily wished that the water was hot, black coffee to help her wake up. Not that she wanted to. What she wanted was to be back in that bed, snuggled into Jon’s big, warm body. Not for sex. She wasn’t sure she could, even if she wanted to. Her body felt like she’d been doing sessions of Wipeout over and over again. No, what she wanted was sleep.
Edie pressed her hands against the tiles and let the hot water pummel her back. She wished she could sleep in, just for an hour. Jon didn’t have to be at the rink until ten. Edie was fairly sure she’d be on her third, maybe fourth espresso by then, if she wasn’t asleep, face first on the blotter on her desk.
“I thought you were gone.” A smile crept across her face as she felt his hands slide around her waist, the width of his chest press against her back and his lips brush gently against her shoulder. Without saying a word, Edie leaned back and let him hold her. She slid her hands along his forearms until their fingers were laced and then she turned, craning her neck to look up at him. “So do you really have to beat up on my Nucks to take me to Vegas?”
“That’s the idea,” he told her, kissing her cheek. “Why? You gonna be mad at me if we do?”
“I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it,” Edie replied honestly, leaning her head back against his chest and closing her eyes.
“You do still want to go to Vegas, right?” he asked quietly. She nodded. “And are you…you’re gonna give your notice today, right?”
“Oh, yeah, about that…I don’t know,” Edie began, and felt him go suddenly still. “It’s just…I mean…I know I said I’d think about it and I have but…it’s a big step.” He said nothing, but she felt his hands tighten around hers’. “You could have changed your mind. I mean, after last night,” she continued, still waiting for him to interject; to say something, anything, but he didn’t. Not for a long time. Not for long enough that the water started to get cold
“I haven’t…I won’t,” he answered somberly, letting go of one of her hands to reach forward and shut off the water, and then he turned her to face him and cupped her cheek in his hand. “I won’t,” he repeated, his gaze earnest, determined. “I’m in love with you Eden. I was yesterday, I am today and I will be tomorrow and every day after that.”
It was as if the air got thick, or had disappeared altogether. Edie’s felt her chest tighten and it felt like she had to work to breathe. He was waiting for an answer to the question he’d left unspoken, but she’d heard it all the same. Part of her brain was telling her to stay the course, to do what was logical, to tell him she needed time but the expression in his eyes told her that wasn’t the answer that he was waiting for and it wasn’t the answer that sprang to her lips.
“I guess I’m giving my notice,” she told him, leaning into his hand and smiling up at him, watching that boyish grin that she loved altering his features, taking years off of his face.
“There he is, the pussy whipped wonder boy,” Predictably Kaner was the first one to greet Jon as he dragged his butt into the rink. “You gave in to her kinda quick didn’t you?”
“I got a blowjob in a taxi and then had sex like six times. What did you do last night?” Jon sneered at his curly mopped teammate and continued walking past. He ached. Ever single muscle and bone in his body ached but he couldn’t stop grinning.
“Damn man, you didn’t get a wink of sleep did you?” Sharpie laughed, patting Jon on the back. I hope you’re planning on getting in some zees this afternoon.”
“Maybe,” Jon shrugged, dropping down onto the bench in the visitor’s dressing room at Roger’s Arena. “Then again, maybe not,” he added with a private smile. Edie had dragged him back to bed and he’d had to remind himself that he was a professional and that he had to come to work today. All he’d wanted was to stay in bed all day, curled around her, running his hands over her soft smooth skin.
“Right on. High five!” Brooksy held his hand up. Jon considered hitting it and then shook his head.
“It’s not like I just hit some random chick. I know you guys are just gonna laugh but…I love her. I even think I’m gonna ask her to marry me.” The entire room fell silent, like a tomb. Jon looked around. He wasn’t surprised by the reaction. In fact it was exactly the reaction that he expected. He was just waiting for the recriminations. No one was looking at him. No one, that is, except Kane. “Go on. Tell me I’m insane and that I’m stupid and that she’s not worth it. Go on. At least do it to my face, not behind my back.”
“No one’s gonna say anything like that. Right boys?” Soups looked around the room and everyone, save Kane, nodded.
“Ah c’mon. It’s not just me that thinks it’s crazy right? C’mon….” Kaner looked around the room, waiting for back up that didn’t come. “Shoot…whatever man. I’m hittin’ the ice.” Jon watched Pat grab his stick and stomp out of the room.
“He’s just pissed about losing his wing man,” Pisey gave Jon’s shoulder a squeeze and grinned. “You know he can’t get chicks on his own. Too short.” Jon nodded and smiled. He didn’t want Pat to be mad but he wasn’t going to run after him and beg him to understand either. He knew what he was feeling wasn’t the result of any kind of mental illness, unless love was the result of some kind of chemical imbalance and if it was, he was okay with it.
“I guess I don’t care if you guys all think I’m nuts. I’m still gonna do it,” he told the rest of the guys in the room. Most of them nodded, some of them shrugged.
“You sure you’re not gonna scare her away? I mean, you hardly know her,” Sharpie pointed out, but in a tone that said he was actually concerned for Jon and not that he disapproved.
“Yeah, I’ve thought of that,” Jon replied calmly. He’d thought of little else since they’d parted at O’Hare. “And if I do, I’ll just chase after her until she gives in.”
“Stalk the girl…hot,” Pisey laughed and that made Jon smile.
“So…have you got the ring and everything?” Sharpie asked. Jon shook his head. “So it’s some kind of heirloom? Your grandmother’s or something?” Again, Jon shook his head.
“No, we were way too poor for any of that kind of stuff back in Winnipeg,” he told them with a grin, “so I thought I’d get something in Vegas.”
“You’re not wearing that,” Carolyn didn’t even look up from painting her nails. It’s like she knew Edie’s closet by sound.
“This is what I always wear to games. It’s cold at the rink Cars. I’m not wearing a tube top and hot shorts,” Edie snapped back, slipping her Bieksa jersey off of the hanger. Carolyn smirked, obviously getting a giggle out of the image that created in her head, but shook her golden curls.
“Nah, I was more thinking something classy, something Dr.Zhivago.” Edie put the skinny jeans back on the shelf and turned to face her friend, hands on hips.
“I don’t wear fur,” she pointed out.
“I just mean something more covered up, something that will leave a little more to the imagination. You were just saying how you’ve basically spent the whole time you’ve known him naked or close to it. So…get Victorian on his ass and wear that Russian military style coat over ummm….” Carolyn closed her eyes and Edie was sure that her friend was mentally going through her closet. She even moved her hands like she was pushing hangers along. “Wear your black and suit pants, you know the ones with the purple pin stripe and…maybe that purple flashy top with the…,” Carolyn’s hands went to her throat as if she was feeling the metal clasp the halter top had at the opening of the throat, “you know, the one with no back on it. That way, you’ll be warm at the game and then later, when he gets the coat off…ta-dah!” Carolyn’s eyes opened and she grinned.
“You should have been a fashion designer,” Edie sighed, turning back to her closet in search of the suggested pieces.
“Too much work. I just want someone to be my sugar daddy so I can buy nothing but Prada and Chanel and buy me a walk in closet for a wedding present.” Edie shook her head. Someone watched Sex and the City waaayy too much.
He looked up into the stands as he walked around the bench and onto the ice. There was a smattering of Hawks jerseys in the stands, less than last year. A lot of the local boys had ended up on other teams after they’d brought the come home. Jon assumed Ladd’s folks wouldn’t be here en force as they had been, but Brookie’s folks were. He nodded to them, but went back to scanning the crowd.
She had to be here.
He wondered if she’d wear his jersey, or a Canuck’s jersey. He hoped it would be his even while he sort of thought that it wouldn’t.
He took a lap of the ice, feeling that sort of ache in his thighs that he always got when he hadn’t had enough sleep. He’d desperately wanted to go back to her place for his afternoon nap but Coach had taken one look at the circles under his eyes and had forbidden it. He wanted her, but he also wanted to play and he didn’t want to let the rest of the guys down.
He dug the blades of his skates into the ice and listened to the familiar sounds of the other guys around him doing the same thing, getting a feel for the ice. The cool air woke him up faster than anything else. That and the adrenalin of seeing the Canucks players hit the ice and hearing the fans applauding and yelling for their team.
Vancouver hates the Hawks. Some of these people, he thought to himself, screamed for him and the rest of the guys not that long ago when he’d won a gold medal out on this same ice. Winning the Cup had been amazing and he would never forget it, but there had been a special pride, a distinct feeling of awe when the crowd in this building had roared as one when Crosby had put the biscuit in the basket that day. The entire nation had roared in their ears.
Now his blood roared in his ears as he looked up and saw her standing behind the glass right next to the bench. There was a sea of people over near the Canucks bench. There was only a few bodies near the Hawks bench and somehow she’d made it there, was standing there behind the glass, smiling at him. His heart missed a beat and he stood there, centre ice, staring at her, wearing a big stupid grin on his face.
She lifted her hand and bent her fingers in a minute gesture of greeting. Jon waved back, like a little kid would, seeing his parents after a two weeks at camp. He wanted to run toward her in the same happy, uninhibited sort of way. Shit, it had only been a few hours and he could hardly wait to have her in his arms again.
There it was again, she thought as she stood there behind the plexi-glass, watching him skate towards her. There was that big, boyish, lop sided grin of his. She put her hand against the glass as he skidded to a stop and pressed his hand over hers’.
“You look great,” he shouted, putting his glove hand against the glass where hers’ was. “Except for the scarf,” he added. Edie grinned and tossed the end of her blue Canucks scarf over her shoulder. “You really gonna cheer against me?”
“Well…there is this.” She unbuttoned the top two buttons of her coat and pulled her lapels wide enough for him to see the crimson jersey beneath. She looked back up to find him grinning down at her. Shaking her head and laughing, she buttoned up her coat. “I don’t want to get beat up,” she explained.
“If I put one in will you cheer for me?” he asked and she shrugged and batted her eyelashes. She wasn’t sure how she’d feel about it. Probably much like she had when the Pens had been in town the year before. She’d ended up cheering for both teams, much to the annoyance of most of the other spectators around her. “You packed right?” he asked and she nodded again. This sucked, being on the opposite sides of the glass. He looked damn handsome in his uniform and tall…very tall.
She considered scaling the glass but one of the yellow clad security guards was already giving her the sink eye. However, she had spied a means of getting at least some minor action. Beckoning him to follow, she slid over to one of the holes in the glass meant for professional photographers to use, and stuck her hand through.
Jon’s expression softened and he glided over, sticking his glove under his other arm so he could cover her hand with his. They stood there, grinning at one another until Carolyn started making retching noises and even then, Jon didn’t let go of her hand until Kane rang a puck off the glass that made Jon jump and Edie scream.
“I guess I better go,” he laughed. “Where are you sitting?”
“Just back there,” she turned to point to a pair of seats on the aisle a few rows behind the net.
“I’ll look for you when I score,” he promised. “I’ll see you right after the game. You have your credentials right?” Edie held them up for him to see and he nodded.
“Good luck, I guess,” she smirked and he shook his head and laughed before giving her hand a squeeze and letting it go. Edie watched him skate away and felt her heart straining to follow him.
“Oh lord, look at you,” Carolyn, who was leaning against the glass, with her back to the action and her arms crossed looking fed up rolled her eyes. “You’re so in love it’s gross. Now can we go get a hot dog? I’m fucking starving.”
Jon faced Malhotra across the dot just to the left of Crawford’s net. Green, to his left, grinned like the cat that got the canary. Jon wondered if he was really going to have to drop the gloves with the Canucks tough guy. He really didn’t want to go to Vegas with a shiner, although, he thought with a smirk, it would be something for the grandkids to talk about when they looked at the wedding photos.
“So that was your girlfriend I was sucking face with at the club?” Green asked as he settled his stick across his knees. Jon shrugged. He didn’t really want to talk to the guy. He just wanted to get the face off done. The first period had been a struggle and not just for him. All the guys had seemed sluggish. Coach had given them a pep talk, reminding them what was at stake and the guys had promised each other that they’d try harder.
He really, really wanted to get on that plane to Vegas.
He also really wanted to score. Not just to get the first one on the board and break the ice, but so that he could raise his arms and point up at her in front of the partisan crowd.
“She’s pretty hot,” Bieksa, the Canucks surly defenseman chimed in just as the puck was about to drop. “I think I’ve seen her around before. I’ll be sure to say hi next time I see her.” Jon growled as the puck dropped. He muscled the puck through his legs and back to Kaner who took off with it. Jon put his shoulder into Green’s chest and shoved his way by. Now he wanted to score just to wipe the smug grins off their faces.
He fought to get free as Kane sped towards Vancouver’s end. Jon tapped the ass, asking for the puck. He wanted this.
He heard Hoss coming hard on his heels and slid the puck over to his wing man and dodged a check and then called for the puck again as he crashed the net. He felt the puck hit the blade of his stick and then heard Kaner yelling behind him. He looked in the net. Luongo was staring at the same thing he was. The biscuit was definitely in the basket.
Throwing up his arms Jon turned to look for her. She was standing up, clapping and smiling and best of all, she was wearing his jersey.