Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Always Knew I Would Fall in Love With You chapter 25

chapter 25
After giving Sidney, Addie and Marco a recap of what happened Sidney, and I decided that we wanted to go to the Potato Patch to get lunch, but Marco and Addie wanted to ride a few more rides because they had to leave soon. (Marco had a test tomorrow at Michigan for his Indy Pro Series car and Marco and Addie's flight was leaving at 7:30 so they had to leave Kennywood at like 4:30.)

"Heyy make sure you come and see us before you leave okay Marco?" I say hugging him.

"Don't worry Bri, I will!" He says hugging me back.

"You two Addie! You better not leave me without saying goodbye!" I say hugging her.

"Brianna, you know I would never to that to you." She says hugging me.

"Alright well we're gonna go to the Potato Patch so we'll see you later." I say taking Sidneys hand as we start to walk towards the Potato Patch while Addie and Marco walk back towards the Pitt Fall.

"So what do you think of Marco and Adrianna?" I ask as we wait in line at the Potato Patch.

"Their pretty cool, and it seems like you three really are good friends. but, how exactly do you known Marco and Adrianna?" Sidney asks.

"Ya we are. um, I used to go to school with Adrianna and we were like best friends, then she moved right before we started 9th grade to Allentown which is East of here and she went to school with Marco. During one of our long weekends, I went there to visit her and thats when I met Marco and we became really good friends because of our love for racing." I say with a smile. After ordering our fries we sit down at one of the tables to eat our fries. Once we are done eating its like 2, so we decide to on the Jack Rabbit and then find Marco and Addie.

"Brianna, are you having fun today?" Sidney asks as we wait in line at the Jack Rabbit.

"Of course I am, but I'm really happy that you are getting along with Marco and Addie so well." I say.

"Ya their fun to hang out with. No offense, but I'm glad that it's just me and you for a little bit." He says pulling me into his arms and kissing me.

"None taken." I say kissing him back. "Sorry that we're hanging out with them so much, but with it being racing season I like never get to see Marco and I swear that I had not idea that they we're going to be here today." I say.

"Haha. its cool Bri. I don't mind." He says as I pull away from him so that we are just holding hands. After we get off of the Jack Rabbit I decided to text Marco to see where they are.
heyy Marco, where are u and addie at?
a minute or so later I get a text from marco and it says.
heyy we're walking over towards the
Aero 360 from the Pitt Fall. where are
you and Sidney at? if ur not in line 4
another ride u should come join us.
"Sidney, do you still wanna go on the Aero 360?" I ask.

"Ya, why is that where Marco and Addie are going now?" He answers.

"Yep, they just got off of the Pitt Fall and Marco said that we should meet them over there since its like 2:45 now and they have to leave in a little bit." I say giving Sidney the puppy-dog pout.

"Alright thats fine with me." He says with a smile.

"Thanks Sid! you're the greatest!" I say giving him a quick kiss and then we head towards the Aero 360. By the time we got over there Marco and Addie were already waiting for us.

"Long time no see." Marco says sarcastically as we get in line with them.

"Haha I know! It's been all of what an hour?" I say. After we ride the Aero 360 the 4 of us decide to go ride the Racers. As we wait in line Addie and I keep watching to see which car wins each time because we know the secrets to who wins each race. Luckily I realize the pattern before she does so I say, "Sidney and I call the blue car!" I say sticking my tongue out at Addie.

"Crap! I almost had it!" She says.

"What are you two talking about?" Sidney asks.

"Ya I'm confused." Marco adds in.

"Sidney and I get the blue car! and Addies just mad 'cause I figured out the pattern of whose gonna win before she did." I say with a smile.

"Oh okay. that makes more sense now." Marco says. Once we get off of the Aero 360 its 3:45 and Marco and Addie have to leave soon.

"So my dear, what should our last ride of the day be?" Marco asks Addie.

"Umm... How about the King Kahuna?" Addie suggests.

"Alright thats cool with me. Brianna, Sidney do you two care?" Marco asks.

"Nope thats cool with me." I say.

"Ya I'm fine with that." Sidney says. So with that the 4 of us walk to the King Kahuna. Luckily the line for that was short for that ride.

"Addie I can't believe that you would wanna ride this." I say to her looking at how the ride whips you around.

"I know I know, but I promised Marco that if we had time that I would try this ride." She says. After we ride the King Kahuna its 4:10 so that means that it's almost time for them to leave so we walk back towards the lockers so that they can get their stuff. Once they get their stuff we walk down towards the exit. When we get down there we see one of the workers taking pictures of people to get printed out.

"Brianna, c'mon we have to get our pictures taken." Addie says as the worker walks towards us.

"Alright, c'mon Sid and Marco get over here." I say. So it went Sidney, Me, Addie then Marco. Once the guy took our picture we went over and picked out what we wanted and this time Addie and I told the guys that we were paying for the guys pictures whether they liked it or not. Once we payed for the pictures, Addie and I walked over to the candy store while the guys waited for the pictures to print.

"Adrianna Marie! I'm gonna miss you so much." I say as we wait in line to buy our candy and some fudge.

"Brianna Grace! I'm gonna miss you more. I'm soo glad that I got to see you today, but I have to admit that I knew you were going to be here today." She says with a devilish smile.

"How, I mean I havent talked to you in like forever?" I say with a confused look on my face.

"I was on AIM this morning and I saw your away message and it said that you were going to be here today so I convinced Marco that we should come today." She says with a laugh.

"Addie, you're too much." I say giving her a hug. Once we pay for our stuff we go back out to where the guys are waiting with our pictures and key chains?...

"Wait... why are they holding key chains too? I dont remember getting those.." Addie asks as we walk towards the guys.

"Same here... maybe they bought them for us or something." I reply.

"Who are the key chains for?" Addie asks as we get back to where the guys are standing.

"Well... we thought that they were really cool and so Sidney and I decided to get them for you so that you can put them on your key rings." Marco says.

"Ya, so anytime that you miss each other, you can just look at your keys and there you are." Sidney adds in as he and Marco hand us the key chains.

"Aww you two are too much." I say hugging Sidney.

"Ya thanks honey." Addie adds in hugging Marco. After looking at his watch, Marco says, "I hate to say this, but it's like 4:30 so Addie honey, we need to get going."

"Already?" Addie says and I can see her eyes well up with tears.

"Adrianna dont you dare cry." I say hugging her.

"I'm sorry Brianna, but I'm gonna miss you soo much." She cries.

"Addie, I'm gonna miss you too. But I'm coming to Richmond for the race so I'll see you in a couple of weeks." I say as I look at Marco and he just nods his head in agreement.

"And you Marco Michael, the next time you're in town you better let me know sooner!" I say leaping into his arms.

"Brianna Grace, don't worry I will." He says putting me back on the ground and kissing me on the cheek.

"It was nice meeting you Sidney." Addie says giving Sidney a hug.

"It was nice meeting you too Adrianna." Sidney says hugging her back.

"Nice meeting you Marco." Sidney says shaking Marcos hand.

"Nice meeting you too Sid." Marco replies. After we say our goodbyes, Marco and Addie head towards the exit while Sidney and I head back towards our lockers so we can grab our pictures to show our parents since were meeting them for dinner at the pizza place next to Kiddie Land in like 10 minutes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Girl Next Door Chapter 60

The next few weeks went by quickly for Kate. A week after her graduation, Neal graduated and moved back home temporarily. Allison also went home to Philadelphia, but just to pack up everything before starting her job at an advertising agency in Pittsburgh. Neal was starting his job with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the beginning of July, so he and Allison were going hunting for an apartment almost immediately after graduation. They found a place two weeks after graduation, and moved in before starting their jobs.
Kate was busy with work in June because there were a lot of hockey camps, but she was talking to Sidney all the time and she couldn’t wait for him to come back at the end of the month. A lot of the team was coming back to play in Mario’s golf invitational, and when everyone came back, it was like they had never left. They were hanging out every night, mainly at Sidney’s. Even though Kate and Sidney were spending a lot of time with the team, they still found time to spend together, just the two of them.
“This week has been so much fun,” Kate said while they were in her pool late one afternoon. “I wish you didn’t have to go back home tomorrow.”
“I wish I could stay too, but I have a ton to do at home.”
“I know, but I’ll still miss you.”
“Why don’t you come up to visit? You have to see Cole Harbour, it’s amazing.”
Kate thought for a second, and then replied, “I’m going up to Minnesota next week to see my relatives, and I’ll be gone for over two weeks. I don’t know if I can. But I really want to, and I’ll think about it.”
“That’s cool, whatever you want. I know you have to get stuff ready for school too.”
Kate gave him a kiss, and as they kissed, she wrapped her legs around Sidney’s waist as he moved her up against the wall of the pool.
“Um yeah, you know we’re here now right?” Neal said a couple of minutes after Kate and Sidney had begun to kiss.
They broke apart quickly, Kate’s face turning beet red. “Um, know I do,” she said. “Thanks.”
“Mind if we join you two?” Allison asked.
“Not at all,” they replied as Allison jumped into the pool on the hot day.
The four of them swam around for awhile, talking, laughing, and having cannonball contests off the diving board. Since Kate’s parents were out for the night at a party, they grilled dinner and had a great time. Eventually though, it was time for Sidney to go, since he had an early flight home.
“Well, I’ll see you soon,” Sidney said as he held Kate’s hand. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” Kate replied.
They kissed, but not for too long. They ended their kiss in a hug, and then Sidney walked away, looking back at Kate and smiling before he walked into his driveway.
While Kate was at work the next day, she got a text from Sidney, telling her that he made it home. Kate smiled, and her manager (who was twenty-three and not having a whole lot of luck finding a real job) saw her. He walked over and knelt down, putting his elbows on the counter, resting his head in his hands.
“So, am I the only person that knows?” Chris asked.
“Knows what?” Kate asked back.
“That you’re dating Sidney Crosby?”
Kate laughed and replied, “No, you’re not the only one. My family knows, his family knows, the team knows, but only a couple of my friends know. We’re trying to keep it quiet.”
“Well, you’ve been doing a good job. I didn’t figure it out until last month.”
“Yeah, well, we figured you wouldn’t tell, so you were okay,” Kate laughed.
“How long?”
“Almost nine months.”
“Yeah, but please don’t tell anyone.”
“I promise I won’t tell a soul,” he promised, crossing his heart and laughing.

The Girl Next Door Chapter 59

Later, as they lay in Kate’s bed, covered by a sheet, Kate rested her head on Sidney’s chest, and Sidney gently ran his fingers through her hair.
“You okay?” he asked her.
“Yeah, just thinking,” she replied.
“About what?”
“What about me?”
“How much I’ll miss you the next few weeks.”
“I’ll miss you too, but I won’t be gone for too long. I’ll be back for Mario’s golf tournament towards the end of the month.”
“That’ll be good.”
After they lay there in silence for a few minutes, Sidney asked Kate a question: “Are you hungry?”
Kate laughed, and replied, “Starving.”
“Wanna go get something to eat?”
Kate looked up and him and smiled. She lifted her head off of Sidney’s chest, and he sat up and reached for his boxers, put them on, and got out of bed and started putting on the rest of his clothes. Kate reached down to the end of the bed to get her bra and underwear. She put them on and then got out of bed, and found her jeans and a shirt. As Kate walked towards her bathroom to get a hair band, Sidney gave her a quick kiss. She brushed her hair and put it up, and told Sidney she was ready to go. He reached for her hand and the two of them walked out of the house and over to Sidney’s car. He opened up a door for Kate and then walked over to his side and started up the car. They drove to a restaurant not far away, and had a long lunch. The two of them laughed and had a great time. Eventually though, it was time for the two of them to go home and Sidney had to finish packing.
“Need some help?” Kate asked him as they reached his room.
“If you want to,” he said, giving her hand a squeeze.
So Kate helped Sidney pack up the rest of his things. It didn’t take the two of them long, so afterwards they went downstairs to hang out with the Lemieuxs.
“When are you coming back, Sidney?” Austin asked.
“End of the month, for your dad’s golf tournament. I don’t think I’ll do too well.”
Everyone laughed, and they continued talking until it was time for Sidney to go. Everyone gave him hugs and said their goodbyes. Kate walked to her house and drove her car over, and Sidney put his bags in it. He got into her car and they drove out to the airport.
At the airport, Kate pulled up to the departing gates curb. Kate helped him get his bags out of the car and put them onto the curb. As Kate pushed her hair out of her face, Sidney said: “I’ll miss you.”
Kate looked up at him and said, “I’ll miss you too.”
The two of them kissed, and ended their kiss in a hug.
“See you in a few weeks,” she said.
“See you then,” she replied.
He whispered, “I love you,” into her ear, grabbed his bags, and walked inside. Kate got back into her car and smiled, knowing he meant what he said. She started up her car, and drove home.

The Girl Next Door Chapter 58

Kate began to clear the plates and cups, and Sidney helped her, even though Kate said he didn’t have to. With Kate’s family inside cleaning up the kitchen and leaving her and Sidney to clean up the outside, the two of them snuck in quick kisses when they knew no one was looking. They took everything inside that needed to be washed, and Kate’s mom handed them each a garbage bag. They walked back outside, and made their way to garbage cans. After they put the bags in the cans and were walking back around the house, Sidney pulled Kate aside and kissed her. As they continued to kiss, Kate took a step backwards and rested against a wall of her house, and Sidney placed his hand on the small of her back, and brought her close to him. They kept on kissing for a couple more minutes until they heard someone coming. They broke apart quickly.
“Everyone was wondering where you two had gone to,” Larry said. He found them looking shocked: Sidney’s hand was now on Kate’s hip, and Kate was still leaning against the wall.
“Just talking for a minute,” Kate said, smiling.
“Uh huh, sure,” Larry said, smiling and rocking back and forth. “I’ll tell them you two didn’t run off somewhere; that you’ll be inside in a minute.”
As Larry walked away, Sidney turned and looked right into Kate’s eyes. “He’s one of the normal ones?” he asked her.
“He married in,” Kate laughed. “Remember that.”
Sidney laughed, and leaned in and kissed Kate again. This time their kiss was brief. They then walked inside, and Sidney said good-bye to everyone, saying how it was nice to meet them (all of Kate’s family had morning flights the next day, so Sidney wouldn’t see them). Kate told her mom she’d be back in a minute, and she left with Sidney.
“They weren’t that bad, were they?” Kate asked him as they walked to his place.
“Well,” Sidney began. He laughed and so did Kate. “No, I like your family. They were nice. Your uncle Larry is a whole other topic.”
“You got that right,” Kate laughed.
They soon reached Sidney’s door. As Sidney placed his hands on her hips, he asked, “So, when can you do something tomorrow?”
“Anytime after twelve,” Kate replied, resting her hands on his shoulders. “After we take all of them to the airport, I’m home free.”
“Sounds good. Give me a call when you’re done.”
With that, he leaned in and kissed her. “I better go,” Kate whispered after they broke apart. “Larry will be coming over here before you know it.”
Sidney laughed quietly, and whispered, “I wish you could come up.”
“Me too,” Kate said. “But if I’m gone much longer…”
“Yeah, I know. I love you.”
“Love you too. See you tomorrow.”
She gave him a quick kiss, and walked back home.
It took all of Kate’s family and their cars to get everyone to the airport. After they dropped them off, all of them were ecstatic. Neal had to head back to school to take his last final, so he was gone. Kate’s parents decided to spend the day at Robinson running errands and shopping, and Kate headed back home. After she parked her car at her house, she walked over to see Sidney.
“Hi, Kate!” Nathalie greeted Kate as she opened the door. “Sidney’s upstairs in his room, finishing up his packing.”
“Thanks, Nathalie.” Kate walked inside and walked upstairs to Sidney’s room. When she got there, she knocked on the door, and Sidney opened it with a smile.
“Hey,” he said, opening the door a little more.
“Hey,” Kate replied with a smile on her face as she walked into his room. He shut the door behind her.
“All packed up?” she asked, motioning to the bags on the floor.
“Getting there. I’m not taking everything home; I have a bunch of stuff there.”
“Want me to drive you?” ”Sounds good.” He leaned in and gave her a kiss. As they kept kissing, they slowly moved over to his bed, and Kate laid down on it, and Sidney gently came down on top of her. He began to unbutton her shirt, but Kate stopped him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked her.
“We can’t do this here,” she said, beginning to sit up.
“I guess you’re right,” he replied, obviously a little upset as he too sat up.
“But no one’s home at my house, and no one will be for awhile,” Kate said with a smile on her face as she buttoned up her shirt.
He smiled back at her, and they got up and walked out of the room and downstairs. He told Nathalie he’d be back in awhile, and they left.

The Girl Next Door Chapter 57

Kate woke up the next morning before most of her family. The only person that was awake was her dad, who she realized was already out on his morning bike ride. She made a pot of coffee, since she knew everyone would be waking up soon. She had a little breakfast, and then went out for a run, something she hadn’t done for awhile. When she walked in the door, she discovered a lot of her family was up.
“Ready for today Katie?” Megan asked.
“I’ve been ready all year,” Kate laughed.
A little after three o’clock, Kate headed over to the school because everyone graduating had to be there early. She immediately saw Andrew and walked over to him.
“Hey Andrew!” Kate gave him a hug.
“Excited Kate?” he asked as he returned the hug.
“I’m as excited as I was when we won states,” Kate replied. Andrew laughed.
“Everyone!” the principal shouted out. “Over here!
They had to listen to a speech from their principal, talking about how special a day their graduation day was (Kate and Andrew rolled their eyes at each other; they had only heard that a hundred times already). By the end of that speech, it was nearly four o’clock, and time to line up. Andrew was in front of Kate (the order was alphabetical; his last name was Grant), and they filed out of the auditorium into the stadium. They filed into their seats and Kate spotted her family right away. Andrew’s family was right next to Kate’s. They smiled at their families, and then waited for the speeches. Their principal spoke first.
“Blah, blah, blah,” Andrew whispered to Kate.
Kate laughed silently and so did Andrew. Kate made the talking gesture with her hands and made a face to go along with it, and Andrew almost lost it. At that point, she could just feel her mother staring at her, so she elbowed Andrew in the arm to tell him to quit it. He smiled at her and stopped laughing, but they both still had huge grins on her face.
Finally, they began to call out the names. When they called out Kate’s, she could hear her family being as loud and obnoxious as they could. She laughed and walked over to get her diploma.
After they tossed their caps in the air, Kate and Andrew found their friends and celebrated. Their families came down too, and naturally took a lot of pictures. After awhile though, it was time to go home. Kate said good-bye to Andrew and went home.
After getting everything ready (and after Kate changed out of her robe), Sidney and the Lemieuxs came over.
“Congrats, Kate!” Nathalie gushed when she saw Kate.
“Thanks, Nathalie.” Kate smiled as she gave Nathalie a hug.
She gave Mario a hug too as he congratulated her. Then Kate’s dad came over to greet them so Kate could get a chance to talk to Sidney.
“So,” Sidney began, “can I get a hug too?”
Kate laughed. “I guess so.”
He laughed as he gave Kate a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. “How was it?”
“Well, to be honest, pretty boring.” Kate rested her forearms on his shoulder and her hands behind his neck, and he rested his hands on her hips. “But it’s nice to know I’m done with that place.”
“That’s how I felt.”
They stood there for a minute talking and laughing, and then they walked over to talk to everyone.
The party lasted for a long time, until about eleven, when the kids started to get tired. At that point, the Lemieuxs decided to call it a night, and thanked Kate’s family. They congratulated Kate again, and slowly made their way out, talking to everyone on the way.

The Girl Next Door Chapter 56

Luckily, Kate got to sleep in a little bit the next morning, until she heard Mary and Andrew running through the hall, screaming at each other. She opened her eyes, saw that it was nine-thirty, and decided she needed to get up. She went into the bathroom and put in her contacts, and went downstairs.
“Hey, Kristen.” Kate greeted her cousin as she walked up to a cabinet to get a mug.
“Hey Katie,” Kristen said back. “You woke up from them too?”
“Yeah,” Kate sighed. “But at least you’re not related to them.”
Kristen laughed. Kate put her mug filled with milk into the microwave and started it up.
“So when is Sidney going back home?” Kristen asked.
“Late Sunday night,” Kate replied.
“That sucks.”
“Tell me about it. But he hasn’t spent any time with his family in forever. I got to spend all season with him. I’ll see him a few more times this summer.”
“It has to be tough though.”
“Well, yeah. I knew it would be when I started dating him. I can deal with it.”
At that point, Sue and Megan walked into the kitchen, so they joined in on their conversation. Kate pulled her mug out of the microwave, and made her hot chocolate.
“Well, Kate,” Sue began.
“Yes?” Kate asked.
“I like Sidney. I didn’t get a chance to tell you that last night, but I like him. It looks like he really cares about you, and that you care about him.”
“I do. He’s a great guy.”
“But why didn’t you tell us you were dating him?”
“It’s a long story. We’re really trying to keep it quiet, since it was his first year here and everything, and he already has enough media people asking him questions.”
“You can’t keep it quiet forever, you know,” Kristen said. Sue nodded her head in agreement.
“We know. Next season we’re going to make it known. Hopefully then a few girls will stop bothering him.” Kate laughed and her relatives joined in.
“I’ve noticed people just don’t leave him alone,” Megan said.
Kate nodded, and started to work on her drink. She smiled to herself, because Megan was one of the ones that didn’t leave Sidney alone.
That afternoon, Neal came home, and Kate could not have been more thankful for him to come home. The two of them talked for awhile by themselves, just catching up.
“How’d it go with Sidney meeting everyone last night?” Neal asked.
“How’d it go the first time everyone met Allison?” Kate asked back.
“That bad, huh?” Neal laughed.
“Well, it wasn’t too bad, but everyone just kept asking question after question. He handled it well though.”
“You two hanging out tonight?”
“Yeah, Mom and Dad said I could go, as long as I stayed around here all day, which I have. I deserve a break,” Kate laughed.
“Mary and Andrew that bad?”
“When are they ever good?”
Neal laughed and the two of them got up and went downstairs.
In the evening, Kate went over to the Lemieuxs, and she hung out with Sidney. It was a nice escape for Kate. The two of them ate dinner with the family and then they watched a movie.
“Ready to graduate tomorrow?” Sidney asked Kate.
“You have no idea,” she replied, snuggling in closer to him under the blanket.
As they lay there, watching the movie, they fell asleep. Eventually, Nathalie came down and woke them up.
“Hey, you two, it’s almost midnight,” she said as she touched Kate’s shoulder.
“Huh?” Sidney asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Oh, wow, I better get home,” Kate said, looking at her watch. “Thanks, Nathalie.”
“You’re welcome, good night.” Nathalie made her way back upstairs.
Sidney took the blanket off of them and threw it on a chair. “I’ll walk you,” he said as he held out his hand. Kate took a hold of it and the two of them got up and walked back to Kate’s.
“Well, graduation’s at four tomorrow, so I’ll see you afterwards, okay?” Kate said as they reached her house. They were having a little party, just Kate’s family and the Lemieuxs (and Sidney, obviously) after graduation.
“Sounds good. Have fun tomorrow, okay?” He gave her hand a quick squeeze.
“I will.” She went up on her tiptoes a little bit, and gave Sidney a quick kiss. “Love you,” she said after the kiss.
“Love you too,” he replied as she opened the front door. She turned around and smiled, went inside, and quietly shut the door.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Part 5 - Nobody's Perfect

D and I met up with everyone at BP’s and proceeded to pig out on food we shouldn’t have eaten… or at least food I shouldn’t have eaten. Except that with everything that D and I had drank already, we both needed to eat. Then we proceeded to get completely and totally wasted, since eating had totally killed our respective buzzes. We headed out with everyone to our favourite bar and D ended up hooking up with some puck, while I ran into Aaron.

While Sidney and I were technically almost together, we definitely weren’t exclusive. We each had our own thing on the side. His happened to be head from, well any girl he could get it from, and mine was Aaron.

Aaron and I would never date. He thought that I was a slut, and I hated the fact that he thought that I was a slut. But the sex was good. In fact, at times, the sex could be pretty damn fantastic. The boy may have thought that I was a slut, but that didn’t stop him from being willing to go down on me any chance that he had.

So I took him home. I figured that there was no reason not to. He and I were both good and plastered, Sid was probably plastered and getting head from someone, so it was all good. Or at least I thought it was.

At five thirty am, when Aaron and I were readying ourselves for round number 2, having passed out after round number one, my cell rang. “Ignore it.” Aaron urged me, his teeth nipping at my breast.

“Hold on.” I mutter impatiently, running a hand through my hair.

I glanced at the number, since the ring wasn’t familiar. “Oh shit.” I muttered as I saw the Rimouski area code flashing across the screen. “Hello?” I answered flipping open my phone.

“Hey baby.” Sidney’s voice answered from the other end.

“Sid where are you?” I asked, hitting at Aaron’s hands as he tried to pull me back on top of him.

“Patrick’s.” He answered. “Where are you?”

“At home.” I said as Aaron reached between my legs. “Stop it.” I hissed.

“And not alone apparently.” He chuckled, though I could tell that he was actually quiet upset by the idea.

I blushed to the roots of my hair. “Well D and I went out to get really drunk, to celebrate the win and all, and he ran into Mel and I ran into Aaron and well we ended up leaving separately.”

“Oh.” Sidney said in a tight tense voice.

“Come back to bed Dely.” Aaron called.

“Get dressed.” I snapped at him. “And I’ll call a cab.”

That got his attention, he sat straight up. “Who the hell is on the phone?” He demanded.

“Sidney Crosby.” I replied, knowing full well that he wasn’t going to believe me.

Exactly as I thought he would, Aaron snorted. “Yeah fucking right.” He snapped. “Now come on Dely.”

“Here.” I snapped throwing him the phone. “You talk to him for a minute, while I call you a cab.”

“Who the hell is this?” Aaron demanded.

“Who the hell are you?” Sidney replied.

I grinned to myself as I reached for the phone. The nice thing about cell phones is that you can always hear what both people are saying. Aaron replied. “I asked you first.”

“Like Drew said….” Sidney replied. “I’m Sidney Crosby.”

Aaron snorted again. “Look I know she’s friends with Dion Phaneuf, but forgive me for having a hard time believing that Sidney fucking Crosby calls Red Deer’s town slut at five-thirty in the morning.”

“It’s seven thirty here.” Sidney snapped. “And Drew is not a slut. If anything, you’re a slut for sleeping with her while thinking she’s a slut.”

“So I’m supposed to believe that you really are Sidney Crosby and that you and Dely Whitney are just friends?” Aaron demanded.

“We are not just friends.” Sidney replied. “And I for one, never asked you to believe we were, nor do I believe that Drew would ask you to believe it.”

“Dude, don’t go all jealous on me.” Aaron said. “Dely is a great lay and all, but she is totally not worth your jealousy. She’s been around enough. I mean, I would have thought that the fact that she’s slept with pretty much every Rebel to make it to the NHL in the last four years was enough to call her a slut.”

“The fact that I have slept with them had nothing to do with the fact that they were NHL bound Aaron and you know it. And its not every one. I haven’t slept with D or Fraz or about 15 other NHL bound Rebels.” I snapped. “Your cab is on the way so get up, get dressed, and get the fuck out.”

Aaron threw me the phone. “Sidney Crosby my ass.” He snorted.

“Why on earth do you sleep with him?” Sidney demanded the minute he heard me breathing into the receiver. “Did you not hear everything he said about you?”

I shrugged. “It’s nothing I haven’t heard before Sid.” I said. “Plus he gives good head.”

“Well stop sleeping with him.” Sidney ordered me sternly. “Because I give better head and I am never, ever going to call you a slut.”

“That’s sweet sweetie.” I told him, feeling both upset and drunk. I mean, I’d always known that Aaron said things like that about me, but I’d never actually heard him saying them. “But you will eventually. They always do.”

“That’s not true Drew.” Sidney said. “I think I know you better than that by now baby.”

I shrugged. “But you don’t know my completely history Sidney. Eventually someone or several someones will want to fill you in and you’ll get enough bits and pieces that you’ll be disgusted by me and by being with me. Knowing me as well as you do, you’ll know that the one thing that I can’t handle is being called a slut, so you’ll call me that, and every other nasty name in the book.” I said with a gulping hiccupping sob. “So that I’ll break up with you. Only I won’t.”

“You won’t?” Sidney asked in surprise. “Why on earth not?”

“Because I’ll make you do it.” I told him. “I won’t let it be easy on you. I’ll make you step up and be a man and tell me exactly what you think of me, in lurid detail and then I’ll tell Dion and he’ll go head hunting the next time you’re on the ice against him, if only to avenge what’s left of my honour.”

“How can you believe this of me baby?” Sidney asked, the hurt evident in his voice. “How can you believe that I would really hate you or be disgusted over the notches in your bedpost? Fuck Drew, I’ll consider myself lucky if you weren’t disgusted over mine.”

“I can believe it because it’s five thirty in the morning.” I sniffed quietly. “I can believe it because I was just about to have sex, again, with a guy who believes it.” I sniffed again. “I can believe it because I am still drunk Sidney.”

Sidney laughed gently. He wasn’t laughing to be mean, but it was mean none the less. “Drew I love you.” He told me. “When I say that, I mean it. I wouldn’t say it otherwise.”

The tears were running down my cheeks now. “I love you too Sidney.” I said. “I just… it hurts me, waiting for the day when you’re going to realize that you really don’t love me.”

“You’ve got to have a little faith Drew.” Sidney said softly, his voice so gentle that I wanted nothing more then to stand in front of him and feel him trail a gentle hand down my cheek. “Have some faith in yourself or at least have a little faith in me.”

I sighed and sniffled. “Did you not hear the part where its quarter to six in the morning and I’m still pretty drunk?” I asked.

“I did.” Sidney said with a laugh. “And it sounds to me as if you need to sleep it off.”

“I do.” I grumbled. “But I was up having sex until three thirty so I’ve only slept for an hour and a half before Aaron woke me up and tried to go at it again and then the phone rang and I stopped him so that I could answer it.”

Sidney burst out laughing. “Let me get this straight.” He said, still laughing. “You stopped a guy who was about to have sex with you so that you could answer the phone?”

“I didn’t recognize the ring.” I told him in the most obnoxious, whiny voice. “So I reached over to see the number and I saw that it was a Rimouski area code and I answered it.”

“You wouldn’t do that if I were about to make love to you would you Drew?” He asked me softly.

“No.” I grumbled tiredly. “Because if it were you who was about to make love to me my phone would be turned off as soon as we started, if not long before that sweetie.” I paused and then added. “Plus, Aaron wasn’t about to make love to me. He was going to fuck me. There’s a difference.”

“Well that’s good to know.” Sidney said with a soft laugh. “Because I would really hate to have to destroy your cell. I know how attached you are to it.”

I sniffled. “Don’t even think about it Crosby.” I muttered. “’Cause without it, I’m not going to be able to call you ever again. Or D, or Getter or Mikey or anyone, ‘cause I don’t know anyone’s numbers.”

“You’re not enunciating Drew. You must really be wasted.” Sidney said, sounding concerned. “Go back to bed and get some sleep.”

“You aren’t mad at me are you?” I mumbled tiredly, as I curled up on the couch, wrapping a blanket around my body. “I mean, about Aaron?”

“I’m not happy about it.” He said, and I could almost see him shrugged. “But we aren’t exclusive Drew, we’ve never agreed to be exclusive while we’re so far apart. I’m not upset about the fact that you got laid, that’s cool. I didn’t exactly go it alone last night.” He admitted. “I’m not happy that you value yourself so little that you would sleep with someone who values you so little.”
He paused to take a deep breath. “You are worth so much more then that Drew. I intend on spending as much time as it takes to convince you of that.”

Part 4 - Nobody's Perfect

The next night, Dion and I did as promised, and sat around getting wasted while we watched the game on the internet. D has the incredible ability to fucking wasted several nights consecutively. I seriously couldn’t manage that anymore. I guess I was growing up or something.

Either way, at four thirty our time, seven thirty out in Halifax and six thirty in Rimouski, Dion and I were huddled by the computer, waiting for the game to start. We were both already working on our second drinks and we were looking forward to going out after the game to celebrate a Rimouski victory.

At the beginning of the game it actually looked as if the Halifax defense was going to have a chance at stopping the high octane Rimouski offense. The game was scoreless for over nine minutes.

All that changed on a Rimouski power play though and Dion totally called it. “Bet you a shot of tequila that they score on this one.” He said.

“Why on earth would I bet against Rimouski?” I asked.

“Good point.” He replied as Mark Tobin scored.

We both cheered. “It’s about time.” I muttered. “I was starting to get a little nervous.”

D snorted. “You always get nervous Drew. If we don’t have a goal at the end of the first you act like the world is coming to an end.”

I just shrugged. “I like these things to be taken care of early when my boys are playing.” I said simply. “I mean, if its like, the Flames and Oilers, I’m good with a tight game. But if its you or Getter or Sid or Brook or even Mikey, I want you guys to go out and end it before the other team even knows its started.”

Dion chuckled. “I suppose I feel the same way when I’m playing.”

“Damn straight.” I replied with a special smile, just for D.

D and I settled down to watch the game and we were thrilled when less than three minutes later, after the Ocèanic had killed off a penalty, Sidney scored a beauty… his eleventh of the playoffs according to the announcers. My phone buzzed with a text message a couple of seconds later. With a grin I picked it up.

“That from Troy?” Dion asked, curious.

“Yeah.” I replied, scanning the message quickly. “He wanted to make sure that you and I were watching the game. He wasn’t sure if we would be. Someone really needs to remind him about the time difference.”

D laughed. “I have a feeling he’s a little caught up in other things right now Drew. He’s not exactly worried about the fact that it’s only like….” He paused. “What time is it anyway?” He asked, taking another swig of his beer.

I shrugged. “Time for refills I think.” I said, looking at my now empty glass.

“We are going to be extremely wasted by the time this game is over.” D predicted.

“We should probably go out for supper afterwards. Meet Fraz and everyone at BP’s?” I asked from the kitchen. “We can have something to eat.”

“And drink fishbowls.” D added. “Because we both know how much you love fishbowl Friday.”

“Only because Ray is the bartender there.” I pointed out. “I wouldn’t drink a fishbowl or a jug or whatever anywhere else, ‘cause they cheat you on the booze but we both know that RayRay does not stint with us.”

“Rebels for life baby.” D said with a grin.

“Damn straight.” I said, handing him his beer. “Although I think next year its going to be Flames for life.”

“I hope so.” D muttered darkly. “Because I definitely don’t want to go to Lowell. I mean, Lowell whatevers for life? Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

I grinned at him. “Definitely not, but something tells me that nothing has the same ring as Rebels for Life.”

“Oh fuck.” D muttered.

“Fuck?” I asked, feeling confused. “Why fuck?”

“The Mooseheads just scored Drew.” D said.

“Oh fuck.” I replied.

The first period ended with Rimouski leading 2-1. Unfortunately for the Nics, the Mooseheads came out strong in the second and scored twice in the first two minutes, taking a 3-2 lead. Dion laughed at me as I paced anxiously around the living room, cursing the Ocèanic’s pitiful defense. “Calm down Drew.” He said, a smirk on his face. “They need this.”

“What they need is the fucking lead back.” I snapped.

“They’ll get it back.” D told me confidently. “Don’t worry. They need a little scare if they’re going to finish this thing in four.”

D was right. Less then two minutes later, Patrick Coulombe tied the game for the Nics on the power play on a great feed from Sidney. A minute and a bit later Eric Neilson, Sidney’s roommate, gave Rimouski the lead again. Three minutes later, Dany Roussin got his tenth of the playoffs to give Rimouski a 5-3 lead.

I was ecstatic until Halifax tied the game before the end of the second. I shook my head as I continued drinking. “This is fucking awful.” I said to D anxiously jiggling my knee. “Now the fucking Mooseheads are going to think that they actually have a chance.”

D shrugged. “Maybe they do.” He pointed out. “I know that that’s not what you want to hear Drew, but its true.”

I glared at him. “You’re damn straight that its not what I want to hear.” I snapped. “Nor is it what I want to see. I want Rimouski to close the door and close it hard.”

D shook his head. “Things aren’t always going to be perfect Drew. They might actually have to work for this series.”

I shrugged. “I would rather that it was just a four game series.” I said. “I want Sid to be able to keep his promise about getting to London. He’ll be more upset then I am if he doesn’t make it.”

D nodded. “I know he will Drew.” He said. “But everything in life happens for a reason. Don’t forget that.”

“How can I?” I muttered angrily. “It’s not like you’ll let me forget.”

D laughed and gave me a quick hug. “Only because I love you Drew.” He pointed out. “Only because I love you.”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head. My cell rang. I hurried to answer it. “Hello?” I said.

“You’re keeping an eye on the game right Drew?” Troy Crosby’s voice replied from the other end of the line.

“Dion and I are watching it on the internet Troy.” I said. “It’s early here still so it’s a good time to catch a game on a Friday.”

“Oh good.” Troy said with a relieved sigh. “Sidney was a little worried before the game that you wouldn’t be able to watch it.”

“Nope.” I said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I paused. “Of course, I’d be a lot happier if Rimouski were winning right now.”

“Desjardins is looking a little jittery.” Troy admitted. “I’m sure he’ll stand on his head in the third.”

I shrugged. “I’ll take your word for it Troy.” I said. “Because I’m not exactly sure that I’ve seen it from him yet.”

“He’s got it Drew don’t worry.” Troy said. “I’ll tell Sid that you and Dion are watching. That will help.”

“Okay.” I said with a bit of a smile. “Tell Trina and Taylor I say hi. I’ll talk to Sid later too.”
With that, Troy let me go. I turned to D. “Troy wanted to make sure that we were watching, and to let me know that Desjardins is going to stand on his head in the third.”

“Well that’s good to know.” D said. “Because I know how badly these guys want to win.”

D looked sad, thinking clearly of the Rebels loss during the playoffs. I put a hand on his shoulders. “I know you do D-fense.” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “And next year, when you’re in the pros with the Flames, you’ll give them the edge they need to be one of the best teams in the league.”

“Love the faith in me Drew, but what if Sidney ends up an Oiler?” He asked.

“Umm then I have no choice but to commit suicide.” I replied with a chuckle, showing him that I was joking. “I mean, my best friend a Flame and my boyfriend an Oiler? How could any girl live with the shame?”

Dion laughed. “I don’t know how any girl could live with the shame of having an Oiler for a boyfriend.”

I winked at him. “I was talking more about the pain of having a best friend who was a Flame, but either way.” I said with a shrug.

D pretended to be ready to backhand me. He would never do that, so I hit him gently on the shoulder. “Bitch.” He muttered.

“Love you too Phaneuf.” I said with a teasing grin as I finished another drink.

We sat back down to watch the rest of the game. We watched anxiously for the first ten minutes of the period as neither team was able to score. Finally with less then ten minutes to go in the period Zbynek Hrdel, who’d been on the Czech national team in Grand Forks, scored his seventh to give the Nics the lead. That lead held and the Ocèanic were able to control the play, and it wasn’t until there were ten seconds left in the game that the Mooseheads were able to pull their goalie. With the goalie out of the net Dany Roussin added an empty netter to seal the deal for the Nics.

Dion and I cheered the boys on every second of the third. We were ecstatic when Hrdel scored, even more so when Dany Roussin added the empty netter. We were also extremely drunk. I grabbed my cell, knowing full well that Sidney probably wasn’t going to call that night. Not after having won a big game like this, and D and I headed out to meet our people. We were in the mood to celebrate.

Part 3 - Nobody's Perfect

About an hour after the game was done, D and I were still sitting around and D was getting shit-faced (it was a Thursday night and I had to work the next day so I was abstaining) when the phone rang. D grabbed it before I could. “Hello?” He said. “Oh yeah, hey Sid. Good game tonight. Yeah, just having a couple of drinks. Well I am, Drew’s being a bit of a prude tonight.” Dion told him, rolling his eyes.

I stuck my tongue out at him. “I have to work tomorrow.” I reminded him. “Give me the phone.”

Dion laughed at something Sid said. “Yeah, she’s right here man.” He said. “Uh-huh. Okay, I’ll tell her.” He said, making to hang up the phone.

“Don’t you dare.” I hissed grabbing the phone.

D grinned infuriatingly and handed me the phone. “Like he would just tell me to tell you something and then hang up.” He said, rolling his eyes. “The boy is in just as deep as you are Drew.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “Ass.” I muttered. “Hey Sid.” I said cheerfully into the phone.

“Hey Drew.” He replied, clearly both tired and excited. “So D says that you guys watched the game.”

“Yeah, it was freaking awesome Sid.” I said. “I mean, you guys clearly dominated. Way to go.”

“Except for the stint in the third we totally didn’t dominate then.” I could almost see the disgusted look on his face as he said this.

I shrugged. “Well when you score 9 goals, letting in 4 isn’t that big a deal.”

“They’ll tighten up tomorrow night.” Sidney said. “And we have to be ready.”

“And you will be Sid.” I told him confidently. “I have faith in you honey.”

“Isn’t that sweet….” Dion cooed.

“Asshole.” I muttered, kicking him. “Not you Sidney.” I said quickly. “D-fense over here seems to think he needs to add colour commentary to our conversation.”

Sidney chuckled. “Tell him to go have another beer.” He suggested.

“Are you trying to promote his rampant alcoholism?” I said. “Because D really doesn’t need any help in that department. Unless of course you’re trying to derail the D-train for next year.”

Sidney shrugged. “We don’t even know what’s going to happen next year Drew. If there is a season next year at all.”

“There’ll be a season.” I said dismissively. “The NHL will not survive a two year standoff. They’ll settle things before the summer is out.”

I could almost see Sidney shrug. “I don’t know Drew. My agent seems to think that I need to look at Europe as a viable option.”

I shook my head in disgust. “So you’ll take a job away from someone?” I demanded. “I mean, there are guys from Europe who make their living over there… and there are guys from here who take their families and move over there and then guys like you go over and take jobs.”

Sidney sighed. “It’s just an option that Pat’s talking about Drew. Don’t get all upset about it.”

“I don’t like it.” I grumbled.

Sidney sighed again. “I know you don’t Drew, but Pat is only looking out for my best interests.”

“Because it’s all about you.” I muttered. “Don’t worry Sidney, I haven’t forgotten.”

“Drew….” Sidney said with an exasperated sigh. “I don’t want to fight with you about this.”

“I don’t want you to go to Europe.” I snapped. “I just don’t okay?”

Sidney sighed, softly this time. “It’s not like I want to go to Europe Drew.” Sidney pointed out. “I mean, I’d like to go to Europe, but not to play there. I want to play in the NHL.”

“Even that could suck.” I pointed out. “I mean, what if like, Tampa Bay gets the first pick? That would mean you’re totally far away.”

“Or I could end up in Edmonton or Calgary.” Sidney pointed out. “And I’d be right there whenever you needed me.”

I sighed. “I’m sorry Sidney.” I whispered. “I know that you’re focused on winning the President’s Trophy right now. I just… I worry about next year.”

“Come with me then Drew.” He said. “Quit your job and come with me.”

I shook my head, even though he couldn’t see me. “I couldn’t do that Sidney. I mean, what if things don’t work out between us? Then I’m left and I’ve got no job.”

“I’ll take care of you either way Drew.” Sidney said pointedly. “But I want you with me next year. I’m going to need you.”

“It’s hard to be the single phenom with your girlfriend living in town.” I said pointedly. “And I know Pat wants you to be single.”

Sidney snorted. “It’s not like we can’t keep things quiet Drew. I’ve done a damn good job of keeping anything I’ve had here in Rimouski quiet. I’m sure I can do it in a huge NHL city.”

I shrugged. “I guess.” I said. “I just don’t like the idea of being something that you need to keep quiet.” I told him. “I mean I understand and all Sid. I just don’t really like it. If that’s how it’s going to be, I might as well stay in Red Deer, where at least I’ve got something of my own.”

Sidney sighed again. We’d had this conversation several times since we’d said goodbye in the Winnipeg airport and it always had the same results. Sidney wanted me to blindly place my trust in him and go off with him to wherever he went next year and I wanted some kind of assurance that I wouldn’t have to be dependent on him.

I sighed. Now we were not talking to each other. “Look Sidney I’m sorry honey. You’ve got bigger things to worry about right now. You played well tonight and I’m sure that you’ll play even better tomorrow night.”

“You and Dion are going to watch again right?” He asked.

“Of course. And then we’re both going to go get fucked up.” I paused and yelled, since D had left the room. “If D-fense is able to go two nights in a row that is.”

“I’ll be fine!” Dion yelled back. “This is the last one I swear.”

I snorted. “Yeah right.” I said to Sidney. “Either way honey, we will be watching and we’ll be cheering you on.”

“Good.” Sidney said, and I could see the slow grin spreading across his face. “Because it gives me a little added motivation to show off for you.”

I rolled my eyes. “You don’t have to show off for me Sidney.” I told him. “Just go out and play your game. We both know that you’ll be fine.”

“I miss you Drew.” He said after a few moments of silence. “I wish you were here.”

I smiled. “I wish you were here.” I countered.

“If I was there then my season would be done.” Sidney pointed out.

“Or, if you were here, playing for the Rebels, they’d still be in the thick of things.” I told him.

Sidney chuckled. “You have so much faith in me.”

I snorted. “It’s not like you don’t have faith in yourself there Crosby.” I pointed out. “I just want you to succeed and I want to let you know that I do believe in you. Not that you necessarily need to hear it.”

“I like hearing it.” Sidney said simply. “How are things with you?” Sidney asked. “Not too busy?”

I shrugged. “I keep pretty busy, but this is my second year, so I have a better handle on things this year then I did last year at this time.” I said.

“It was tough last year?” Sidney asked, genuinely sounding interested.

“Very.” I said. “When you’re trying to plan and mark and do extra-cur stuff it gets a little overwhelming.”

“But you’re sure you’re going to be able to come out for the Memorial Cup?” Sidney asked.

“I already have the leave approved honey.” I told him with a smile. “I had to do some fast talking, and you’re going to have to sign a picture or something for my principal, but I got the leave.”

“I don’t know….” Sidney said slowly. “My autograph is fairly valuable….” He teased me.

I shrugged. “Well I can stay out here with D… I’m sure Getter will be up for a good time in Calgary, maybe we can even get Fraz, Brook, and the rest of the Alberta boys to Calgary for the weekend. It could be a lot of fun, just me and all those boys….” I teased him back.

“Or you could come hang out in London with me.” Sidney pointed out. “And then I’ll sign something for your principal.”

I giggled. “Honestly Sid, much as I love partying with the boys, I’d far rather be with you honey.”

“Good.” He said in a husky voice that I found to be incredibly sexy. “Because I would really hate to have to destroy a bunch of good ‘ole Dub boys.”

I snorted. “Honey you know I love you, but you’re a scoring phenom. You couldn’t destroy that many Dub boys even in your wildest dreams. We grow ‘em tough out west.”

“Are you saying that I’m not tough enough for the Dub?” Sidney said in a teasing voice.

You see, its an ongoing debate – whether or not he’d dominate in the Dub the same way he has in the Q. I giggled. “No.” I told him. “I’m simply saying that there’s no way that you could destroy seven Dub boys is all.”

“Well then, I’ll just have to embarrass them on the ice.” Sidney said, and I could see him shrugging nonchalantly. “And off the ice by stealing the best thing to come out of Alberta since beef.”

“And what exactly is that?” I asked, knowing full well what the reply was going to be.

“Dion.” Sidney said, with a laugh. “You of course Drew… you.”

Part 2 - Nobody's Perfect

“Drew are you watching this?” Dion’s voice called excitedly from the living room.

“Clearly I am not watching this since I’m in the kitchen.” I called, rolling my eyes. “Why?”

“You seriously HAVE to see this Drew!” Dion called excitedly. “I can’t believe you’re missing this!”

“I’ll be there in a second D.” I replied as I poured myself a drink and took the cap off D’s beer. “Unless of course you don’t want a drink.”

Sadly the Rebels had been knocked out of the playoffs earlier by Andy, Getter and the rest of the Hitmen. Who had then lost in 7 to the Brandon Wheat Kings (who’d knocked Reggie’s PA team out of the playoffs in the same round as Calgary had done away with my Rebels). So Dion and I enjoyed watching Sidney’s games online.

“They aren’t going to give a replay Drew.” Dion pointed out. “And in case you didn’t care, Sidney just scored.”

“What?” I demanded, rushing over to my computer. “Already?”

D rolled his eyes. “Have you not watched the boy play before?” He asked. “He can score from anywhere.”

“Well I know that.” I said defensively. “I just didn’t think that a strong defensive team like the Mooseheads would already have a defense breakdown. I thought it would take Sid a little while longer to find the holes.”

“Well apparently you thought wrong.” D said with an annoying smile. “Because they just scored again.”

I finally turned my attention away from my drink and to the computer screen. “What the fuck do you mean they just scored again? Who scored?” I demanded my eyes darting over the screen trying to find Sidney’s number 87 jersey.

“Some defenseman.” D said with a shrug. “It was a nice shot actually, but not as good as mine.”

“Naturally.” I replied, rolling my eyes again. “Honestly D, you’d think that you know by now that you’re the number one d-man in the CHL.”

“Oh, I’m well aware of it.” Dion said loftily. “I am just ensuring that other people recognize my near perfection when they see it.”

I shook my head, rolled my eyes and took a sip of my drink. “Drink your beer.” I commanded him. “Maybe that will help you grow up or something.”

D snorted. “Yeah sure Drew. You’re one to talk. Who’s half in love with a 17-year-old?” He taunted me.

I kicked him. “Shut up.”

“Are you saying that you aren’t half in love with Sidney?” Dion asked, his eyebrows raised.

“Shut up Phaneuf.” I snarled.

“So I should call Sid later and tell him that you aren’t half in love with him?” Dion asked, teasing me mercilessly.

I shrugged. “Well you can do that if you want Dion. I’m not half in love with him and he knows it.”

D raised his eyebrows in surprise. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, Dion, that I’m completely, totally head over heels in love with the boy.” I said softly. “And he is very well aware of it too.”

D looked at me and I immediately blushed. Dion and I have known each other for a long time but never, in that whole time, have I admitted to being in love with someone. “Really?” He asked, sounding surprised. “I didn’t think that Drew Whitney was capable of falling in love.” He joked.

“And most people don’t think that you’re capable of smiling.” I replied with a shrug. “So we’re even.”

“Are you serious?” He demanded. “You aren’t just fucking with me?”

I nodded. “Dead serious D.” I told him. “I knew after Grand Forks that I loved him. Now I know that I’m in love with him too.”

“Then why are you and Aaron still fucking?” D demanded.

I shrugged. “Sidney’s out east getting head from every girl who offers from what Eric said on the phone the other night.” I told him honestly. “So I really don’t feel that guilty getting mine.”

“You do too feel guilty.” Dion accused me. “Why else would you try and keep the whole Aaron thing such a secret?”

“Because he doesn’t want all of Red Deer to know that he’s fucking the town whore?” I replied with a shrug. “I don’t know. Aaron’s not big on people knowing that we’re still fucking, so its just easier if we keep it secret.”

The announcer on TV started screaming and D and I turned our attention back to the screen. “Fuck.” I muttered. “I’ve missed every goal so far. Who scored that one anyway?” I asked.

Dion glanced at the screen. “Looks like Mark Tobin.” He said. “But I don’t know for sure.”

“I thought Halifax was supposed crush Rimouski with their defense.” I said. “Thus far I am totally under whelmed.”

“Except you haven’t actually SEEN any of the goals, so it’s not like you’ve actually SEEN any of the defensive breakdowns.” D pointed out petulantly.

“You’re just upset ‘cause your ass is sitting at my place watching hockey instead of out on the ice playing it.” I teased him.

D hit me playfully and went to grab another beer. I watched the game, taking a sip of my drink. “Holy fuck D!” I cried. “They scored again!”

“Who?” D called from the kitchen.

“Jean-Sébastien Côté.” I replied.

D came back and we watched the rest of the first period in relative silence. Sidney managed an assist towards the end of the period on a Mario Scalzo Jr. power play goal, and the Nics were leading 5-0 going into the break. I couldn’t help but giggle.

“What’s so funny?” Dion asked with a smile as we topped up our drinks.

“Well you know how coaches always say that defense wins championships?” I asked.

“Yeah.” D said nodding. “It’s one of coach’s favourite sayings.”

“Well I think the Ocèanics are totally proving that offense does a pretty damn good job of it too.” I said.

“Calm down Drew.” D said cautiously. “This is just the first game.”

I shrugged and stuck my tongue out at him. “Fine. Take the wind out of my sails.”

“Done and done.” D replied with a smile.

“Jerk.” I muttered.

The second period was much the same as the first. The Nics came out flying and managed 2 goals before the five minute mark of the period. Sid managed another assist on another Scalzo goal and Danny Stewart opened the scoring in the period from Patrick Coulombe and Mark Tobin. Zbynek Hrdel added another one for the Nics, making the score 8-0 before the Mooseheads finally managed a goal towards the end of the period.

The Ocèanics came out slow in the third and gave up 3 goals before the 5 minute mark. “Come on boys.” I muttered after the fourth unanswered Mooseheads goal. “They game isn’t over yet.”

“You can say that again.” D muttered. “They need to fucking focus.”

“No really?” I asked sarcastically. “And here I thought all they had to do was sit back for the next fifteen minutes and hope like hell the Mooseheads don’t come back.”

“Quit being a bitch Drew.” Dion said, rolling his eyes. “You know full well what I mean.”

I shrugged. D and I knew each other well enough that we knew that we could snap at each other and it didn’t really matter. I took a sip of my drink and turned my attention back to the game. Rimouski managed to tighten up the D after allowing those three quick goals and it looked like Halifax had as well.

Except for a power play goal that they gave up to Danny Stewart around the thirteen minute mark, the rest of the third was kind of blah. Sidney had taken a penalty before the Stewart goal for being stupid in D’s words. Towards the end of the game, Sidney got into it with one of the Moosehead players (who was probably trying to give his team a boost after the pounding they were taking) who decided to play who’s the bigger man with him.

I wished Sidney would back away from things like that, but knowing him as well as I did, I knew that he wouldn’t back down. He didn’t want to be labeled a baby. No more then he had wanted to be labeled a hot dog over a year ago. I sighed as I watched him go to the penalty box.

D, however, grinned and raised his bottle. “Two skilled players who know when to fight.” He said happily.

I tapped my glass against his bottle. “Cheers I suppose.”

Part 1 - Nobody's Perfect


This is the sequel to Pure Gold!


“But I miss you….” Sidney trailed off sadly on his end of the line.

“I miss you too sweetie.” I said, as I wrote a quick note to one of the parents of one of my students. “But I can’t come to Quèbec right now. I just don’t have the time. There’s so much that needs to be done.”

Sidney sighed. “But I didn’t go to the Top Prospects game because of my back and you were only able to come to Nova Scotia for four days at Easter. We’ve barely seen each other in like, three months.”

“I know Sid, and it totally sucks.” I agreed with him as I wandered around my apartment picking things up that were out of place. “But Sid, we knew that this was how it was going to be. I’m on contract. I have to fill out a form if I want to take time off, and then I have to wait for it to be approved… it takes time.”

Sidney sighed again. I was trying to talk some sense into him but the fact of the matter was, I missed him just as much as he missed me. We hadn’t seen each other in months, and we’d really had no time together at Easter. I was busy marking and he was kept busy by his parents and by friends from home. When we’d spent time together it had been at night, watching movies in his family’s living room. It had been a good time. Not quite as nice as when we’d been together in Grand Forks, but so much had happened since then.

First and foremost, the red jersey that he’d worn in the Gold Medal game had been stolen in the airport in Montrèal. It had been missing for almost two weeks. Some airport employee basically saw the hockey bag, rifled through it and took the jersey. The guy’s DAUGHTER wore the jersey to school later that week, despite the fact that it smelt absolutely disgusting.

After the emotion of having the jersey stolen, then having it returned, Sidney had missed the Top Prospect’s Game. His back was in horrible shape still and he’d been taking massive pain killers just to play for Rimouski every night. He didn’t think his back could handle a 7 to 8 hour flight across the country to Vancouver. He was probably right.

But that didn’t stop the vultures. The fact that he was missing the game but had been playing well (well that was a bit of an understatement, he’d been tearing it up hard core in the Q since his return from Grand Forks) meant that he had to have something against the west, or Don Cherry for the whole hot dog scandal a year or so earlier. Or he just thought he was too damn good to even bother playing in the game.

None of that was true of course, but they went on and on and on. About how he’d let down the fans and how he’d behaved like a spoiled brat. We’d spent a lot of time on the phone that week, as Sidney had needed someone to vent and rant to. He didn’t deserve the treatment that he received. In the end, I was probably angrier about the whole situation then he was. However, I just saved my ranting for D and Fraz.

Then Sidney signed an endorsement deal with RBK Hockey around the same time that the NHL season was officially cancelled. The deal was reportedly worth 2.5 million USD (that’s American dollars) for 5 years. The media jumped all over him again, but at least this time it was somewhat controlled. His agent and the PR people for the Ocèanic’s were able to keep it under control.

In the meantime, Sidney and his Ocèanic squad continued to tear up the QMJHL like there was no tomorrow. Sidney took a huge lead in the points standings as he scored 40 goals in 27 games (compared to 26 goals in 35 games before the World Juniors). I think the funniest thing I heard anyone say about this was when a TSN reporter asked Sidney if he hadn’t gotten the memo about how the play of players who played in the World Juniors is supposed to drop off after they come back.

So not only did Sid need only 27 games to tally 94 total points, his Rimouski club just hadn’t lost. They played out the regular season and ended on a 28 game unbeaten streak. They were playing phenomenal offensive hockey. True their defense could probably have used some work, but hey, when you’re scoring 6 + goals a night, who needs defense?

I had followed all of the games in Rimouski (well not all of them… if they were playing on the same night as my Rebels I depended on Troy Crosby to text me with updates) through the internet. I listened to them live online as often as I could. In the playoffs they began televising the games the on net, which was cool.

I watched as many as I could, and when Getter and Andy and the Hitmen knocked my Rebels out of the playoffs, D and I watched every game together. Since the streak began, the Ocèanic had now lost one game to Chicoutimi before taking that series 4-1. That’s why Sidney and I were on the phone. He wanted me to go to Quèbec to watch him play in the QMJHL Finals, and I simply didn’t have the time.

“But Drew, this may be the last time I ever play major junior hockey and you have never seen me play live baby.” He said softly, I could hear the disappointment in his voice.

“I know Crosby, but honey, there isn’t much I can do.” I said with a sigh, flopping down on the couch. I glanced at my calendar. The Memorial Cup was set to start in London, Ontario in on the 23rd of May… that was less then a month away, but I could get leave for it if I requested it right away. It would be unpaid, and I’d probably have to do some very fast talking, but I could pull it off. “How about I make you a deal?” I asked feeling horribly guilty about not being able to be there for him.

“What kind of deal?” Sidney asked, sounding intrigued.

“If you guys win the Q, I’ll take a week off and be in London for the Memorial Cup.” I told him. “How does that sound?”

“You’ll spend the whole week?” He asked.

“The whole week Sid, I promise.”

I could almost hear him grinning. “You’ve got yourself a deal Drew.” He said. “If we win this thing I’ll tell the team that you need tickets, because the tourney is totally sold out.”

“Thanks Sid.” I said with a smile. “I do miss you… I really do. I just can’t drop everything for you honey. I wish I could.”

“I wish you could to.” He said with a sigh. “Next year you should just be a substitute.” He informed me.

“Excuse me?” I asked, feeling a little cranky. “Planning my life much?”

Sidney chuckled. “Don’t get upset Drew, I just meant it as what I think you should do. You can take it or leave it… and knowing you, well you’ll leave it.”

“That is so not true.” I said. “I can take advice.”

Sidney laughed again. “Have I mentioned lately that I love you baby?” He asked quietly.

“Not in this particular phone call.” I said with a smile.

“Well I love you.” He said softly, so I knew full well that he was probably hanging out with some of the guys and he didn’t really want them to hear what he was saying. Either that, or there was a girl there.

“I love you too.” I replied. “Is someone there Crosby?” I asked pointedly.

“Just Eric and Mario.” He said.

I raised my eyebrows. “No girls?”

“None Drew, I promise.” He said with a bit of a chuckle. “Jealous?”

“Naw.” I said with a shrug. “I love you and I know that you love me too. Fuck whoever you want kid, just don’t expect me not to do the same.”

“I don’t have time for sex right now Drew.” He said.

I snorted. “Yeah and D and Getter haven’t gotten laid since the playoffs started either.” I rolled my eyes. “Sidney, don’t try to feed me that bullshit. You should know better then that by now.”

“I am not feeding you any bullshit. Ask Eric. He lives with me.”

I could hear him handing the phone to someone. “Bonjour?” A voice said.

“Bonjour Eric.” I replied. “Comment-ca va?”

“Bien est toi?” He replied politely.

“Other then thinking Sidney is trying to feed me bullshit, I’m fine.” I said.

“What bullshit is Darryl trying to feed you?” He asked in a heavy French accent, and I could imagine the shit-eating grin that was so totally plastered on his face.

“He said you’d tell me the truth.” I warned him. “So I expect the truth Eric. Sidney tells me that there are NO girls there and that he doesn’t have time for sex right now so he hasn’t been sleeping with anyone.”

Eric snorted. “I don’t think he is counting head as sex Drew.” He said. “Because he has been getting enough of that from what I know.”

“Thanks honey.” I said with a grin. “Remind me to kiss you when I see you.”

Eric laughed. “Bye Drew.” He said. “Talk to you soon.”

“Ha.” I said teasingly when I heard Sidney on the other end. “You are so getting some. You little liar.”

“What about you?” He asked pointedly.

“Same as the last time you asked.” I replied. “Aaron and I see each other every few weeks, and that’s about it.” I said. “Nothing has changed.”

“Good.” He said firmly. “Because you’re mine Drew.” I could hear the steel in his voice as he said it. “Mine.”

I shook my head with a grin and went back to the papers that I’d been marking earlier. “Whatever you say Crosby.” I said, the smile on my face so big that it was probably goofy, meaning I was very grateful for the fact that he was in Rimouski and couldn’t see it. “Whatever you say.”

“So since you couldn’t make for the Golden Pucks….” Sidney continued and I couldn’t help but giggle every time he said that. “And since you won’t be able to make the QMJHL finals I expect to see you in London baby.”

“Well you’re going to have to get there first then now aren’t you Crosby?” I teased him. “I mean, if you really want to see me as badly as you keep saying you do.”

“Consider it done Drew.” He said confidently. “Consider it done.”

Chapter 25 - Some Kind of Wonderful

I’m still not sure how long we sat there like that. I know that it was after the car had stopped at the restaurant. I know that it was after the driver had opened the door. I know that Sidney sent him away. And I know that Sidney burst out laughing as soon as the door was closed behind the driver.

“It’s not funny.” I muttered, half angry, half crying into his neck.

I felt his hand smoothing my hair gently. “Of course its funny Dare.” Sidney whispered, dropping kiss after kiss on the top of my head. “It’s funny because I love you too babe, and I didn’t know how to tell you.”

He paused to laugh. “Hell, part of me was absolutely convinced that you’d already moved on to some new guy in Halifax… a teacher or something, someone who was going to be there for you the way you need… the way that you deserve.”

I forced myself to raise my head and look at him. “I love you Sidney.” I whispered again.

“I love you too Darryl.” He whispered back, before his lips came crashing down on mine.

We were there, kissing each other frantically. We loved each other. I’d never been in love with someone who loved me back before. It was amazing… all of the feelings that were overwhelming as continued to kiss in the back of the limo.

Sidney broke the kiss after several long minutes. “Are you hungry?” He asked, his voice low and seductive, as he raised my hair to trace a long line of kisses down my neck.

“Not for supper.” I moaned as he continued to lick and suck at my neck. “But I am definitely hungry for something.”

I shifted in his lap, pleased to feel that he was just as turned on by this as I was. “God Dare….” He muttered as I shifted again. “Damn babe you’re going to end up naked in a limo.”

I shrugged and kissed him firmly. “I didn’t know that naked was necessary.” I teased him, sucking insistently on his upper lip.

“Let’s go.” He muttered, kissing my ear.

“Where?” I asked. “I mean, I’m supposed to fly out tomorrow.”

“My hotel room.” Sidney muttered. “I’m rooming with Max.”

“And won’t Max mind?” I asked, running my fingers through his hair.

“Max is out for supper with everyone else.” Sid said, stroking my hair gently. “Then everyone is going out. He won’t be back for awhile. We can even meet everyone out later if you want….” He trailed a finger slowly down my arm. “Or we could just stay in bed….”

I kissed him firmly. “Let’s go.” I said.

Sidney picked up the phone and told the driver where we wanted to go before he went back to nipping at my collarbone with his teeth. He moaned loaned and moved his hands up my chest.

Two hours later we were back in the car, this time on our way to club where the rest of the Penguins (and many of the Senators) were planning on spending most of the evening. Sidney and I had made up, showered, made up some more, showered again and finally gotten dressed and headed out of the hotel.

Sidney wanted me to meet his teammates and I wanted to meet them as well. I had missed him so much since we’d fought. It was nice to just… be with him again. Touching him was a nice added bonus. I leaned my head on his shoulder as we drove towards the club. With a gentle hand, he reached up and stroked my hair softly.

I sighed with contentment. Sidney smiled at me softly and leaned down and kissed me on the forehead. “I’ve missed you too Dare.” He told me, his voice low.

I tilted my face up and accepted his kiss. I moaned low and slid my hands up his chest, playing with the buttons on his dress shirt (not an ugly peach one… after undressing him, I’d been smart enough to dress him well). “Dare we are never going to make it to the club if you keep this up.”

I leaned forward and took his ear between my teeth before licking the shell of his ear. With a wicked grin, I pulled back. “Well I suppose I should stop then.”

Sidney glared at me and pulled me back onto his lap. We weren’t exactly practicing proper vehicle safety, since neither of us were wearing a seatbelt. “Get back here.” He muttered.

“If you insist….” I said, trailing a line of kisses down his neck.

We kept making out, ignoring what was going on in the world around us, until the limo came to a stop and the driver knocked discreetly on the door. “Shall we?” Sidney murmured, his lips millimeters from mine.

“I suppose.” I muttered, not giving an inch.

Sidney didn’t move either, not that he could, since I was still sitting on his lap, but that was a technicality as far as I was concerned. I leaned forward and quickly pecked him on the lips. “Let’s go.” I said, jumping up and letting the driver hold the door open for us.

Sidney got out first and held his hand out for me. It wasn’t exactly a huge club or anything like that, but since the entire team was supposed to be there, I supposed it was probably the place to be in Wilkes-Barre tonight. The line outside the place definitely confirmed that assumption.

“What am I going to do without you Dare?” Sidney whispered into my ear, his breath deliciously warm on the back of my neck.

“Pine for me daily.” I teased him as he smiled and waved at some of the people in line, and even stopped and signed a couple of autographs.

While he did that, I practiced blending into the background. There was no need for this weekend to result in problems for him with Pat. Or problems for me with Pat for that matter, because having worked for the man, I definitely did not want to be on his bad side.

When Sidney was done we headed inside, where a group of his teammates immediately swept us up. Sidney laughed as someone said something incredibly loudly and drunkenly in French. “Max tu es ivre.” Sidney replied in French with a grin. “This is my girlfriend, Darryl. Darryl this is Max, he’s my roommate.”

Max grinned. He wasn’t my idea of handsome, but I’ve always liked guys with a baby face, like Sidney, where as Max was more ruggedly good looking. Five o’clock shadow and all. “Nice to meet you.” He said, shaking my hand. “I hope you guys didn’t make too much of a mess.”

I probably blushed, though I did my best to sound nonchalant. “Mess?” I asked innocently. “What kind of mess could Sidney and I possibly have made?”

Max burst out laughing. “I like you.” He announced, slingling an arm around my shoulders.
Making a face because his breath reeked of booze, I removed his arm. “Thanks, I think.” I said with a wry smile.

Sidney just chuckled. “Go get another drink for the pretty brunette you were talking to when we walked in Max. Otherwise, she might not think you’re interested.”

“Yes sir, phenom, sir.” Max said with a mock salute, wandering away.

Sidney shook his head as Max walked away. “He’s a goof.” He told me. “But he’s got a good heart. We played together on Team Canada’s World Junior Team when I was 16.”

“I’ve seen a picture of the two of you I think.” I said, trying to think. “Did he have shorter hair back then?”

Sidney nodded. “Yep… and the same big goofy smile.”

We laughed about that. The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. Sidney introduced me to all of his teammates that were there as well as a few of the Ottawa Senators that had shown up that he knew. We drank, we laughed, and we had fun. It was a good time except that it reminded me that he would be having good times like this without me again soon.

Oh sure, I could go out and have good times of my own in Halifax, but it just wasn’t the same as the good times he would be having. He had girls falling all over him. Guys never just fell all over me like that. I wasn’t as special as he was… is. And I never will be. I’m just Darryl Koryluk, a teacher.

The last time we’d gone out like this, neither of us had a good time. The second time we went out like this, I’d had a good time and Sidney hadn’t. Now Sidney was still having a good time and I was contemplating how exactly I was going to deal with knowing that he was doing this without me being there to be with him.

It’s not that I’m a jealous person. But the major problem with long distance relationships is that its easy to lie. I mean, if I lived in Pittsburgh, I’d have no problem with Sidney going out on his own with the boys from time to time, because no matter what went down, it would eventually get back to me.

Being in Halifax it wasn’t quite that easy. However, as I watched him, goofing around with Max and Marc-Andrè, I couldn’t help but smile. He was so happy to be here, living out his dream. There was no way that I was going to put a damper on things by bringing up my insecurities.

He looked over at me and smiled. He looked so happy and young… carefree almost. It was almost believable. Except for the minor detail that I actually knew him… knew him outside of the rink. So that meant that I knew that he was anything but carefree. He knew that the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the NHL in general was looking to him to save the team and the league.

That’s a lot of responsibility on 18-year-old shoulders. I couldn’t very well make him responsible for my happiness on top of it. It wouldn’t be the right thing to do. So I smiled back at him, realizing in that moment, that part of trusting him would be realizing that things, whatever they were, wouldn’t get back to me.

I would just have to take his word for it, and at that moment, I was more then happy to trust in him and whatever he had to say to me. “You look deep in thought.” Sidney said, coming over and giving me a quick kiss, though not after checking to make sure that no one was watching.

I shrugged. “I was just thinking about you.” I told him with a smile, squeezing his hand in mine.

“Good things I hope.” Sidney said, still smiling softly. “Though from the look on your face Dare, I’m not entirely sure that it was only happy thoughts were going through your mind.”

Looking around quickly, I leaned forward and kissed him softly only the cheek. “The good thoughts were all about Crosby.” I told him softly. “They were all about you.”

A grin broke out on Sidney’s face. “All of my good thoughts are all about you Dare.” He paused, and his grin got wider. “Well almost all of them. A lot of them are about hockey.”

I smiled a shook my head. “I don’t know why I put up with you Crosby, except that you’re some kind of wonderful honey. You are some kind of wonderful.”

The End

Chapter 24 - Some Kind of Wonderful

As it turns out, I was in fact right (just in case anyone is like, you know, keeping score or something) Sidney was in the dressing room talking to the press for about an hour. Catrine talked at me every now and then, but I mainly attempted to blend into the walls.

It was really a talent at this point. I had gotten very, very, very good over the course of the summer of blending into the walls. When you work for Pat, its not exactly something that you can avoid learning. You are to be seen and not heard unless he tells you otherwise. It was great practice for this night, when I wanted to be neither seen nor heard until Sidney chose to see or hear me.

When he was finally done, I was still standing out there, trying to blend into the walls, trying to make sure that everyone ignored me. Of course, when he did come out of the room, I’m the first person he saw. His eyes lit with recognition when he looked at me. “Darryl.” He said softly.

I glanced into his eyes. There was recognition there, but nothing more. My heart fell immediately. This was all about breaking up with me. This was all about ending things in person. He didn’t want to talk about fixing our relationship our make things right between us. He had me here to break things off in person, the way a gentleman would.

With a sigh, I smiled tremulously. “Sidney.” I said in a low, small voice.

“I wasn’t sure that you’d come.” He told me, his voice and face uncertain.

“Your parents told me that you wanted me here.” I said with a shrug. “But since you never called, I wasn’t really sure. Then your Dad insisted, so, well I came.”

“I’m glad you did.” He told me, looking at me intently.

I looked back at him. I still wasn’t sure entirely why he wanted me here… or if he wanted me here at here. We stood there for several minutes, starring at each other. I wanted so badly to reach out and touch him, but I had no idea of his intentions. If I reached out to touch him and he rejected me, that would be worse then if he just rejected me.

So I continued to stand there, starring at him as he starred right back at me. We stood there, as people continued to move around us, lost in our own little world. Finally he cleared his throat. “Dare, we need to talk.”

My mouth went dry and my stomach heaved. “I know.” I said quietly, trying hard to swallow the bile that rose in my throat.

My face must have gone white, because Sidney looked concerned all of a sudden. “Are you okay?” He asked anxiously, taking my arm.

I shook his arm off. “I’m okay.” I said quietly.

“You’re white as a sheet babe.” Sidney said softly. “Come on. Let’s go out for dinner and we’ll talk.”

My breath was shallow and I couldn’t seem to calm down. “Talk.” I said in between gulping for air. “Of course.”

Sidney looked concerned, but said nothing. “I don’t have a car yet.” He apologized as he lead us out of Mellon Arena. “So I called a car for us, since I didn’t think you’d want to go with any of the other guys tonight.”

I sighed with relief and finally managed to take a full deep breath. “Thanks Crosby.”

He smiled at my shyly. “Besides, I wanted to have you all to myself for a little while… it’s been too long Dare.”

I smiled back at him shyly. “Yeah it has been a long time.”

“So how’s work?” He asked, as the driver held open the door to a black limousine for us. “Do you like the school?”

“It’s overwhelming at times.” I told him, my voice low. “There is a lot of work to do… I even brought some marking with me this weekend.” I paused. “Umm how is, like hockey?” I asked awkwardly.

Sidney nodded at my answer and then said. “It’s hockey.” He shrugged.

It was my turn to nod. The whole thing was really awkward, as we sat in silence, looking at everything but each other. We sighed at the same time. “Sidney.” I said at the exact same moment he said. “Darryl.”

“You first.” I said, my mouth dry.

“Fuck.” Sidney muttered running his hand through his hair.

He didn’t say anything, so I started. “Why did you want me to come see you play Crosby?” I asked.

Sidney’s eyes met mine, and now, suddenly there was more then recognition there. There was emotion… there was caring. “Because I miss you Dare. I miss talking to you and kissing you and I just… I miss you.” He sighed and continued. “And I didn’t want to leave things between us the way they were after that night.”

I nodded. “I figured you were done with me.” I told him. “I just… well I wasn’t sure where things stood when your parents kept inviting me over, so I let sleeping dogs lie as they say.”

Sidney nodded and reached for my hand. “I’ve missed you babe.” He said, his fingers gently stroking my hand. “I just didn’t… and don’t, know how to fix things between us…..” He trailed off.

I sighed, and reached up to touch him, startled at the electricity that shot through me as my hand made contact with his cheek. I shuddered stroking his cheek gently with my thumb. His cheek was baby’s bottom smooth and it felt completely natural to be touching him like this.

We sat there in the limo, staring at each other, very aware of the contact between our bodies, our knees touching as we leaned closer to each other. Sidney leaned forward and kissed me softly on the forehead. “I’m sorry babe.” He whispered.

“For what?” I asked, in case he thought that an apology was just going to cut it. I needed to know that he knew why he should be sorry for what happened. I needed to know that he’d thought about why I was upset with him, and that he’d figured it out.

“I’m so sorry for leaving you babe.” He whispered softly. “I was so worried about what other people would think if I was late that I didn’t worry about you or your feelings… that was wrong of me.”

I leaned in and kissed him softly on the lips. “That hurt Crosby.” I told him. “I just wanted to be in your arms.” I said. “I just wanted you to be there. When we… did what we did….” I said hesitantly, awkwardly. “It wasn’t just sex for me Sidney. It was so, so much more.”

“It wasn’t just sex for me either Dare.” Sidney said softly, his voice low. “I spent all summer trying to get you.”

“Don’t you mean get into my pants?” I asked, somewhat confused.

“No.” Sidney said seriously, his eyes flashing with caring as they looked at me. “Oh sure, it started out being about getting in your pants Dare… you have to admit that you’re a very desirable woman.” He brushed his knuckles over my face. “The more time I spent with you… if only because I wanted to get in your pants, the more I got to know you. The more I got to know you, the more I wanted to know you.”

A tear trickled down my cheek, followed be another and then another. Sidney reached over and brushed the tears off my cheeks. “Dare, babe, please don’t cry.” He said softly. “I’ve thought about you every day since that night… I’ve wondered about you and worried about you every single day.”

I sniffed slightly. “A day hasn’t passed when I wasn’t worried about you Sidney. When I haven’t worried about us and what’s going on between us.”

He ran his fingers through my hair. “I knew about your issues with sex Dare.” He told me. “And I didn’t do anything to reassure you. I didn’t do anything to make you think that I would be any different from any other guy who, in your words, pumped and dumped. I never intended to that to you. You are better then that.”

“Thank you for understanding that Sidney.” I whispered leaning forward and really kissing him.

His arms wrapped around me and I was pulled onto his lap. I moaned low as the kiss deepened. His hands caressed my back and my body melded against his in that familiar way that made my heart race. It was so comfortable to be back in his arms. I moaned low and pressed myself harder up against him.

I loved the feel of us, together like that. I’d missed his kisses, his taste, his smell, the feel of his hands on me. I’d missed him, period. He mattered to me more then I ever thought that he would when I met him. I loved him.

Realizing that, I pulled away from him. I mean, I’d only known him for two and a half months. I shouldn’t be in love with him… not yet at least. I mean, six months from now, if we were still together, sure. Not now.

“Are you okay babe?” Sidney asked, his fingers still making their way through my hair.

I shook my head. “No.” I said slowly. “I’m not.”

“What’s wrong?” He asked, concern shinning through his eyes.

“I’m about to do something really, really stupid.” I told him softly.

He immediately looked panicked. “You aren’t going to break up with me are you Dare?” He asked. “Because you can’t. Not now, please babe… I need you right now more then I ever
thought that I could need anyone.”

Reaching over, I ran my fingers through his hair. He has the most gorgeous hair I’ve ever seen on a guy… all dark and curly. “No Sidney, but you’ll probably break up with me after you hear what I have to say.”

“There is nothing that you could do that could make me break up with you right now babe… not when I need you so very much.” Sidney said, running his knuckles down my cheek again. “I never thought… when I got to the NHL that I would need someone… anyone as much as I need you right now.”

Taking a deep breath I plunged in. “I love you Crosby.” I whispered, burying my face in his neck. “I love you.”

Chapter 23 - Some Kind of Wonderful

I sat there, frozen for several long minutes. Or maybe it wasn’t minutes, it just felt like minutes. Maybe it was only seconds. Troy, Trina and Taylor were all looking at me expectantly. “Umm….” I said slowly.

Taylor tugged on my hand. “You have to come.” She said firmly.

“You really do.” Trina said with a motherly smile… the kind of smile that made me miss my own Mom.

“Sidney really wants you to be there Darryl.” Troy said. “He was very insistent that we make sure you come with us.”

“In fact….” Trina said slowly, as if she were suddenly gaining some more insight into what was going on with Sidney and I. “He told us that we couldn’t take no for an answer, that we had to convince you to come.”

I sighed, feeling resigned. I had no good reason for saying no, except my own stupid fears and insecurities. Troy and Trina weren’t about to lie to me, and tell me that Sidney wanted me there when he didn’t. So I couldn’t exactly say no, not without making Trina more suspicious then she already was.

I smiled tremulously. “I suppose I could, but I’d have to be back before six on Sunday.” I told them. “I have a lot of things that I need to do in my classroom.”

Trina grinned. “I’m sure that Pat can arrange something.” She said confidently.

I nodded, feeling nervous. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to Sidney when I saw him. In fact, I wasn’t sure what there was to say to him. I knew that I missed him, and this invitation showed that he missed me.

Either that, or he was too noble to leave things the way that they were, angry words spoken in a hotel room and he wanted to end things officially. I wasn’t really sure. There were times when I understood Sidney so well that it scared me, and then there were times when I just wasn’t sure about anything.

Since that night in Pittsburgh, I don’t think I’d been sure of anything where Sidney was concerned. Part of me needed to believe that things were over between us, and that it was all his fault, because he’d been deceiving me the entire time. But part of me still believed in him and in what we’d had.

So less then a week later, late one Friday night, I found myself on sitting on a plane, headed to Wilkes-Barre. Sidney wouldn’t be there when I got there, which was almost a bit of a relief. It would give me a chance to figure out what I was going to say to him when I saw him.

No, he was in Bringhampton with the Penguins, as they were taking on the Ottawa Senators in their farm team’s venue. So when I got to Wilkes-Barre, I headed straight to the hotel, where I collapsed, exhausted, into a dreamless sleep.

I woke late the next day and went for lunch with the Crosby’s, then out for some shopping to kill some time. I wasn’t entirely sure when I was going to get to see Sidney, but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be before the game. I mean, I didn’t want to be a distraction to him. There were enough people looking for him to fail without me helping the cause by distracting him.

So I played lest in sight until it was time to meet the Crosby’s to go to the game. They headed over to the rink very early, around five, and I didn’t have much of a choice but to go with them. I managed to avoid going with them to the dressing room before the game, instead staying in our seats, a beer in my hands.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see Sidney. In fact, I was desperate to do so. But I didn’t want to be some kind of distraction to him and I didn’t want to hear after this game about how Sidney Crosby wasn’t living up to expectations. I knew that people were waiting for him to screw up and I didn’t want to be the reason that happened.

It wasn’t long before Trina made her way back to the seats. “Are you alright Darryl?” She asked, sitting down next to me.

I choked on my beer slightly. She’d almost snuck up on me, as I was alone with my thoughts, and hadn’t really been paying attention to anything but the ice surface. “I’m fine Trina.” I said when I had cleared my throat.

“Sidney was hoping to see you before the game.” She told me quietly.

I shrugged, taking sip of my beer. “I didn’t want to distract him.” I told her.

“He misses you Darryl.” She said softly.

I shrugged again. “I miss him too.”

We sat in awkward silence for a few minutes. Finally Trina sighed and turned to me. “Darryl, I don’t know exactly what happened between you and my son, and I know that this probably isn’t my place, but he wanted us to extend this invitation to you because he misses you and he wants to make things right.”

Unbidden, tears came to my eyes and I dashed them away angrily. “Then why didn’t he call me himself?” I asked. “He never did try to call you know.” I informed her. “I have message manager, so if he called and I wasn’t home like he said, he could have left a message, but he never called.”

Trina sighed again. “Darryl my son cares about you. He cares about you enough to bring you home to meet us. Something he’s never done before. You’re the first girl he’s been with that I’d actually call his girlfriend. He’s new at this. I know that this isn’t easy for you either, but please, give him a chance.”

It was my turn to sigh. “I came didn’t I?” I asked, sipping my beer. “And I’ll see him after the game… I promise.”

Trina reached over and patted my hand. “Good.” She said. “Because he wants to take you for dinner after the game… he asked me to tell you.”

“Oh.” I said quietly.

Trina sighed again and stood. “Taylor is hungry so I’m going to go grab something from the concession. Would you like anything?”

“I’m fine thanks.” I said, not taking my eyes off the ice surface as I took another sip of my beer.
So I sat in relative silence until the game was done, answering questions whenever they were asked, and responding automatically to comments directed at me. The game was disappointing, at least if you were cheering for the Penguins. They lost to the high powered Ottawa Senators offense took the Pens to school 6-2.

The best part of the game was Sidney’s first NHL goal, though he didn’t bother gathering the puck. Part of me wondered why. So I asked Troy, who shrugged and said. “He probably doesn’t want to count a preseason goal as his first NHL goal.”

“Oh.” I replied.

I knew that Sidney would have to talk to the press after the game so I slowly followed the Crosby’s down towards the dressing room. Someone from TSN grabbed Troy and asked him a series of questions about Sidney’s performance. I blended back, trying to blend into the woodwork, hoping that no one would see me and wonder who I was.

As I moved back towards the wall a hand was placed on my shoulder. “You must be Sidney’s girlfriend.” The voice said, a slight French accent in her voice.

I shrugged. “Don’t you watch TV?” I asked. “Sidney doesn’t have time to have a girlfriend.”

The girl snorted. “Neither does Marc-Andrè.” She replied. “Yet here I am, living with him in Pittsburgh.” She paused. “I’m Catline Bergeron.”

There was something about her that made me want to introduce myself the way my Oma always had. “Yelsaveta Koryluk.” I said, shaking her hand. “But please, call me Darryl.”

“Darryl?” She asked.

I shrugged. “It’s what people call me.” I said, failing to mention that it was also my real name.

“Oh.” Was her only reply to my comment.

We stood next to each other in silence for several minutes. Finally Catline couldn’t take it anymore apparently. She touched my arm and I looked up at her. “Are you and Sidney coming out tonight?” She asked. “A group of us are going for dinner and then out to have a good time.”

I shrugged again. “I don’t know what Sidney has planned.” I told her honestly. “I think his Mom mentioned something about dinner, but that was it.”

“Well if you go for dinner with his famille, you will have to join us for drinks after.” She said with a smile, and I could tell that she was trying to be nice. “It will be fun, all of the young Penguin players together.”

I nodded. “Thanks for the invite.” I said noncommittally. “I’ll ask Sidney when I see him.” I nodded towards the locker room. “Of course, he’ll probably be in there talking to the press for a good hour.”

“Oh non.” Catline said, shaking her head. “C’est… it’s the preseason. They will not keep him from you for that long.”

I gave her a half-smile. I didn’t want her to think that I was a complete and utter bitch after all – I mean, I could be when I wanted to be, but well, I couldn’t always be a bitch. “I’m not so sure.” I said with what must have sounded like a bitter laugh. “Sidney is the freaking phenom after all.”

Catrine shrugged. “He is good yes.” She said. “But that does not stop the fact that he is only 18 years old.”

I looked at her oddly. This girl must have been completely crazy if she thought that the fact that he was only 18 was going to stop the vultures from taking all of his time. The media had been all over Sidney since he was sixteen. I shrugged. “Whatever you say Catrine….” I said slowly. “Whatever you say….”