Monday, May 25, 2009

New Story

I know, having three stories at once is a little ambitious, but if others can do it, so can I! I'm kind of stalled on this one anyway with playoffs going on. I want to keep it as close to accurate as I can, so I can really write until I know what happens. I know exactly what's going to happen after playoffs, but I have to wait until I know what the outcome is before I can write it. I'll have to base how things get rolling on how everything turns out. I'm also a little stuck on my other story. I know where I want to go with it, but I can't seem to get the chapters out. I've also had the idea of this third story in my head for so long that I finally just need to get it out there. It's another Sid story, so I was trying to wait until I finished Lucky, but I just don't have the patience since I have no idea when I want to end it, haha. Hopefully you guys enjoy it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chapter 30

I was dreaming that I was at a party and I didn’t know anyone. Instead of mingling I was just wandering around from room to room searching for someone that looked interesting enough to talk to. Each time I walked into a new room I became a little more disappointed with my options. Then I felt like someone was watching me. I searched and searched for whoever it was, but couldn’t find them. Even so, the feeling just kept getting stronger. When I woke up and opened my eyes I saw Sidney lying next to me, staring at me with a giant grin on his face.

“What the hell?” I mumbled.

“We’re going to win,” he said. Okay, maybe I just woke up, and my brain hadn’t completely caught up yet, but did that make sense?

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“We’re going to win,” he repeated. Was this a riddle?

“Am I still asleep? Did the surgery have some sort of delayed complications? Are you out of your mind?” I questioned. He rolled his eyes at me, but the grin stayed on his face.

“The series. We’re going to win the series,” he explained. Ah, now I got it.

“You seem pretty sure about that,” I told him with a smile.

“Because it’s going to happen,” he stated.

“When did you decide this?”

“Sometime in the middle of the night,” he replied.

“Anything trigger it?”

“You.” I opened my eyes in surprise. I hadn’t seen that coming.

“What do you mean, me?”

“Any other time we lost games like the last two I would have come home and spent half the night thinking about what I could have done differently and the other half worrying about what was coming up. When I came home last night and you were here, and I found the hat in the bed I forgot about the games. I got a great night’s sleep and I woke up feeling relaxed and refreshed. I haven’t felt like this in a long time and it’s all because of you whether you intended on doing it or not. We’re going to play them tomorrow and we’re going to kick their ass.” I smiled and laughed.

“Well I’m glad I could be a little inspiration.”

Not long after that he dropped me off at home and made his way to the rink for practice. The next night I sat nervously in Mario’s box hoping that Sidney would be right. And he was. They won in overtime.

“See?” he said to me when he met me in the wives’ room. I just rolled my eyes and chuckled.

They won again the next game. I said bye to Sid at the rink since they were flying that night to Washington for the game the next day. Then I went straight home and to bed because the girls were graduating in the morning.

As I sat and watched the four of them receive their diplomas I cried both out of happiness and sadness. I was so happy for them and I was sad that I wasn’t joining them in the ceremony. When it was over I went home and slept most of the afternoon. When I woke up I headed over to Erin’s where we all watched and celebrated the Pens win in overtime.

Sidney practically skipped into bed when he got home that night. Like before I was in bed waiting for him to get home. This time I wasn’t asleep when he did. Not that it would have mattered. He made enough noise to wake a deaf person.

“I told you we were going to win,” he joked as he snuggled in.

“There’s one more game left to win, you know.” He laughed and kissed me.

“I’m not worried about it.”

Sidney headed into the locker room after finishing his press conference after the loss in game 6. He was disappointed that they’d lost, that they’d lost at home, and that they had a dreaded game 7 do or die situation. When he was dressed he made his way to the wives’ room to get Tanner. He wouldn’t be surprised if Tanner was by herself or there was only one other person there with her. He’d taken a long time. He was surprised however when he opened the door to find the room completely empty.

Where the hell was Tanner? He walked in and looked around a corner to see if she was in another part of the room. She wasn’t. He checked his phone to see if she’d left him a message about leaving with someone else, but there weren’t any messages from her. He walked back into the hallway and looked around to see if she was standing out there. She wasn’t.

He punched in her number and the phone went straight to her voicemail. That was when he started to panic. Had something happened to her? Why hadn’t anyone come to tell him? He tried her phone again with the same result.

“Where’s Tanner? Has anyone seen Tanner?” he asked the security guards. They both shook their heads and shrugged.

He didn’t know what to do. He called both Jordan and Ryan to see if she was with either of them or if she’d left with Grace or Hailey, but neither answered. He was about to throw his phone when he heard her laugh. He spun around to see her walking down the hallway with Mario.

“Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you,” she asked him, looking slightly annoyed. Wait a minute, she was mad at him?

“I’ve been looking for you. When I couldn’t find you, I thought something happened,” he replied. She rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“Did you forget? Don’t tell me you forgot.” Mario raised his eyebrows while waiting for his response. He racked his brain trying to figure out what she was talking about. Then he remembered.

“Oh shit. Your parents are here.” He felt like a jackass.

Were here. They were tired from the trip and it got late so they left. Your dinner is still up there if you’re hungry, although it’s probably cold by now,” she scolded him.

“Nice job,” Mario commented. Sidney shot him a glare and Mario smiled at him in amusement. He turned his attention back to Tanner.

“I am so sorry. I’ll make it up to them tomorrow before I leave, I promise.”

“You better.” With that, she walked past him towards the exit. He sighed and turned to look at Mario.

“You better do some groveling over breakfast,” Mario joked before turning and walking away.

Sidney hurried to catch up to Tanner and apologized a few more times as they walked out the door. She shivered when they got outside and he wrapped an arm around her. She didn’t cuddle into him like she usually did, but she didn’t push him away. At least she didn’t hate him right now, and for that he was grateful. He opened the car door for her and shut it behind her. Then he drove her home before heading home himself.

The next morning he finished packing a bag and threw it into his car. Then he picked Tanner and her parents up and took them to breakfast. He didn’t order a big breakfast because he knew that Tanner would order a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream and she’d eat only a quarter of it. Just like he thought she pushed it over to him when she was done and he finished it off for her.

He also spent the breakfast apologizing to Tanner’s parents for his stupidity the night before. They told him he got a pass on account of the loss, but only if he won game 7. He could accept that. When they were done he dropped them off and headed to the airport.

The girls were once again at our place to watch the game and my parents had joined us. I’d been sick all day and for once I wasn’t sure it was the chemo that was doing it. The nausea disappeared about halfway through the first when Sidney scored the first goal. It was smooth sailing from there on out.

When they went up 3-0 the mood in the house lightened considerably. Every one of us had a smile on our faces the rest of the night. My parents joked that they could now forgive Sidney for standing them up before they left when the game ended. I laughed and realized that he had been right. They won the series and they kicked Washington’s ass.

Everyone left a while later to be home when the guys arrived. Everyone figured they were going to want to party. I left Sidney a message telling him to go out with the guys and celebrate the win before going to bed. I was woken up a little while later when he pulled back the covers and got into bed next to me.

“I told you to go out and celebrate with the guys,” I said to him when I saw the time and realized he must have come over straight from the airport.

“You’re the only one I want to celebrate with.” I smiled, kissed him, and snuggled in closely before falling asleep.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chapter 29

The playoffs were a strange experience for me. The only sporting event I ever watched previous to meeting Sidney was the Superbowl, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I stepped foot inside the rink for the first home game I was blown away. It was loud from the minute the doors opened until the final buzzer. It felt like the Superbowl, only it was just the first round.

I couldn’t help but get excited every time I made my way into the rink. I already had a reason to care about the outcome of the games with Sidney on the ice. Even so, just being in that atmosphere made it that much more exciting. My stomach churned every play, and every hit Sid took made me wince. The games were way more intense than I was expecting.

Things with Sidney off the ice were a little strange too. I’d gotten used to knowing what his game days consisted of, but now they were magnified. He was a different person even. I knew he had a lot of pressure on him, and I didn’t want to add to that. I did the only thing I could think of to do and told him to just worry about himself. He didn’t like that so much, but he knew he wasn’t going to change my mind.

He wasn’t around as much in the week before the playoffs started, and hardly at all once they had. I wasn’t bitter or upset, I understood. I filled up my days spending time with the girls in the last month we’d ever be living together. That too was a very strange feeling.

Each away game was spent at a new girl’s house. We all got together and watched the games as a group acting as both a distraction and a support system. We all knew the importance of every game and it felt like we were all on the ice with the guys. Every goal scored against the Pens crushed us, and every goal the Pens scored elated us.

After the Penguins won the first round over Philly I wasn’t sure that I could take much more of the playoffs. Football was much easier to deal with. One game against each team until the final two were standing. Even then it seemed more like a party and an excuse to hang out than a championship.

I forced myself to go to every home game the Pens had. It didn’t matter how I felt. I just knew I’d never forgive myself if I missed something. After each game I avoided the subject of the game unless Sidney brought it up. Not being an expert at hockey I didn’t feel it was my place to talk about the game unless he wanted to. More often than not he didn’t. It was funny how things worked out. His games were my escape from feeling sick, but I was Sidney’s escape from the game.

It was hard not to keep the smile off my face and the giggles quiet as Sidney’s “playoff beard” grew in. I’d been warned that almost all of the guys across the league would stop shaving for the playoffs. I’d also been warned how bad Sidney’s facial hair was the year before. As the second round against the Capitals started, it began to fill in. Sort of.

They left for Washington the day before game 1. I smiled and gave Sidney a kiss before he left for the airport, trying not to let on how stressed I was about this series. I wanted them to demolish the Caps, and I wanted Sid to outplay Ovechkin more than anything.

All I could think about when I heard the name Ovechkin was the day the Caps were in Pittsburgh and I was walking to the wives room early for a game. A few of the Capitals were playing soccer in the area right in front of the room. Thankfully I looked over at the group as I was passing to get to the room. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have seen Ovechkin kick the soccer ball that missed my head by about a foot, thanks to my quick ducking reaction. While his teammates looked embarrassed and apologetic, he simply laughed. He laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe. Asshole.

It was our turn to host the girls for game 1. I hadn’t been feeling great that day and spent most of it curled up in bed. When Sid scored the first goal I smiled for the first time. Unfortunately the smile didn’t last long as the Pens lost, and Ovechkin had a goal.

Vero was hosting the second game so Grace, Hailey, and I headed over. The game started off well with Sidney scoring, but once again I watched in anger as Ovechkin scored a hat trick. But then with about 30 seconds left, Sidney had a hat trick of his own. It may not have meant as much since the Pens lost again and went down 2-0 in the series, but I was proud of him.

“Are you ready to go?” Grace asked me after the game ended.

“Actually, do you think you could drop me off at the Lemieux’s?”

“Of course,” she replied.

I got into her car and called Nathalie on the way. She told me she had no problem with me coming over. Grace dropped me off and Nathalie met me at the door. I sat with her for a little bit before heading up to Sidney’s room and getting into bed. I wasn’t sure that I was doing the right thing by being there when he got home that night, but I felt like I had to do something. Almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep.

Sidney got on the plane and slipped on his headphones. He wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone tonight. Most of the guys seemed to feel the same way. Sidney had never heard the plane so quiet. As he stared out the window he thought about the game. He should be happy about his first playoff hat trick, but he wasn’t. They’d lost and were down 2-0 in the series. He was pissed.

It was going to take a lot of work to come back on Washington and he was already going over what he needed to work on for the next game. The plane ride went quickly as he thought about game 3. There was no way around it. They needed to win in order to have a chance to move on to the next round.

He got into his car and checked his phone. He’d called Tanner before they’d taken off but she hadn’t picked up. He figured she must not have been feeling well and was in bed. Seeing that he didn’t have any messages from her only confirmed what he thought.

He pulled up to the house and went straight to his wing. He was tired, so he just left his bags in his living room and started towards his room. He paused at the door when he heard a sound. It sounded like someone or something moving in his bed. He reached for a hockey stick leaning against the wall as his eyes strained against the darkness to see what was there.

He heard the breathing before he saw the shape. Someone was definitely in there. As his eyes adjusted he could see someone lying in bed. He let go of the stick as he realized it was Tanner, and she was definitely asleep. He sighed as his racing heartbeat began to return to normal.
He quietly made his way into the room and into his closet to change, without turning on any lights. He didn’t want to wake her. He changed out of his suit and put everything back in its place by memory. As he made his way towards his bed he realized he had a slight smile on his face.

As he looked down at Tanner’s sleeping form he knew his life had completely changed. Every other time he’d been as upset about a game as he had been tonight he wanted to just go home and be alone. When he was alone he could go over things in his head. He just liked dealing with it his own way without having to worry about anyone else. He hated the “it’s okay, you’ll get them next time” pep talks people always wanted to give you.

Now as he looked down at Tanner, he was grateful that she was there. He hadn’t realized how much he’d wanted to be around her until he saw her. Confident that he hadn’t woken her he reached for the sheets to pull them back so he could get into bed and cuddle up to her. He was mistaken.

“I hope it’s okay that I’m here. I was just really tired all day and your bed is so much more comfortable than mine,” she said.

His eyes had adjusted to the darkness completely at this point and he saw a small smile form on her face. He felt his smile grow as well. She hadn’t mentioned the game at all. She had even made it seem as if she was there for better sleep instead of being there for him after a tough couple of games. It was exactly what he needed.

“It’s definitely okay. I’m glad you’re here,” he told her.

This time he did pull back the sheets. As he got into bed he felt something small that was definitely not Tanner. He reached down to pull up whatever the object was. For a minute he was confused as he looked at a hat. What the hell would one of his hats be doing in bed? Then it hit him. It was for his hat trick. He tossed it to the floor and looked over at Tanner. Her eyes were closed, but she was definitely smirking.

“Thank you,” he whispered as he wrapped his arms around her. She kissed him in response. She was asleep a minute later and he placed a kiss on her cheek before falling asleep himself.