Monday, May 12, 2008

Chapter 14 - Wait for You

The sound of sadness went off at 5 a.m. the next morning. I promptly hit the snooze button only to be awakened by the annoyance again 10 minutes later. Then I remembered where I was was. Here. With him. His arm was still draped around my waist and he was quietly breathing. I untangled myself from him and turned to watch him sleep. I swallowed hard. He looked so peaceful. So young; yet so grown.

His eyes fluttered open and he smiled when he saw me.

“Good morning, sunshine,” he mumbled.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.”

He reached out to me with his arms. “Come back to bed, baby. I don’t want you to go. Call them and tell them you’re coming with me.”

I laughed. “I wish it was that easy.”

“I know.” He sighed and sat upright. I moved in closer allowing him to hold me while I rested my head on his shoulders. “I ordered us breakfast last night before you got here. It should be here about 5:45.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“I may not be from the south, but even I know the way to a person’s heart is through food.”

“You are correct on that front,” I said giving him a peck on the cheek. I reluctantly got out of the bed and went to my bag and pulled out my clothes. I wasn’t for sure what to say to him. I mean, this was it. After today, we’d exchange the occasional e-mail and even those would fade out over time. He may not believe it now; but I knew that’s the way it would end up.

I got ready and came out to repack everything I needed to and make sure I had accounted for everything. I folded Sidney’s t-shirt and laid it on the end of the bed. When he emerged from the bathroom, I was sitting outside again admiring the quietness of the morning.

“You really like it out here, huh?”

“Yeah, I do. It’s beautiful and peaceful.”

“If you think this is amazing, you should see my place in Nova Scotia. It’s on the water in a gated community. No one to bother me. Nothing to worry about it. It’s ideally the best place to be to get away.”

“Home is my getaway. It’s on the water in Savannah, but usually not so peaceful with everyone there.”

A knock on the door signaled that our time together was coming to an end. Sidney had ordered fruit, cereal and yogurt. We enjoyed our breakfast on the balcony and when we were finished, I just stared off into the distance. What to say? What to do? I wasn’t sure.

“Katie, this doesn’t have to be the end.”

I just stared at him. It was as if he could read my mind and know at that moment, I wasn’t for sure how to end this.

“Sidney, we’ve been there. We live two different lives. Two different worlds. Two different directions.”

“We don’t have to in the future. Katie, don’t give up on me and you. I know what I’m feeling, and I want to explore it. I understand what’s going on with you, and I respect that. Things can’t be rushed. If it’s meant to be, it will.”
“This,” I said pointing between the two of us, “is hard for me. I have no idea what to do, what to say or how to explain what I’m feeling. Hell, I walked into a hotel room a week ago and met you for the first time. That’s messed up, Crosby.”

“Life is full of unexpected events. You take them as they come. Don’t be a pessimist when you haven’t given yourself…”

I silenced him there with a kiss. “Life is full of unexpected events and when given the opportunity you make the most of them.”

“Oh baby.”

“I don’t make promises I can’t keep, Sidney. No offense, but I think it’s best for both of us if we just keep this as a causal more than friends thing. No promises beyond the next day and no expectations beyond satisfying each other. Roll with the waves, baby. You drive me crazy. You know what you do to me, and if my mama ever found out, I’d be a dead daughter.”

He laughed. “You think I’m kidding? She’s Mrs. Southern Charm Etiquette. God, if she knew I even had my hands on you; I’d be locked in a tower for the rest of my life.”

“Well, you best not be telling your mum about this.” He kissed me hard and took his hands and put them underneath my shirt and ran them over my stomach and up to the bottom of my bra. “The good boy in me says I shouldn’t, and I want to be good, so I’ll wait to tease you until you’re ready for that. But, just know this…” And he pushed himself against me. I felt it, and I knew exactly what he meant.

I didn’t want to break from him, but I had to. I had 15 minutes to get downstairs and on the bus. I broke the kiss and just stared at him.

He pulled me close and whispered, “You don’t have to say that word.”

“Thank you for a wonderful and amazing time. Good luck today.”

“You too. Don’t give up on me Katie. Just remember I’m waiting for you.”

And with that, I picked up my bag and walked to the door, gave him a peck on the cheek one last time and turned and walked away.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Part 14 - Nobody's Perfect

Sidney left me not long after that. Apparently threatening to cut off his dick meant that he really wanted to get to the rink and practice off some of that sexual energy. Because at this moment, the time zone rule totally applied. If he so much as looked at another girl the wrong way over the next few days I was well within my rights to pull out every crazy girlfriend move that I knew.

Fortunately for me, he wasn’t stupid, and he knew full well that I had more crazy girlfriend moves then any of the babies he’d played with before he met me. The next night, I was back in the John Labatt Centre to watch the Nics, this time as they took on the Ottawa 67’s.

Unlike the Knights and Rockets, who’d gotten a lot of attention coming into the tournament, I didn’t know very much about the 67’s, except that they’d lost in 4 straight to the Knights in the OHL finals, and were only in the tournament because the Knights were hosting. I was sure that Sidney and the guys knew more about them then I did, but it was still nerve wracking, sitting next to Dion in the stands, as the first period began.

“Relax Drew.” D said, rolling his eyes. “It’s just a game.”

“It is NOT just a game.” I snapped. “Not after losing last night its not. And if you were the one out there on the ice you damned well wouldn’t want me to be relaxed right about now.”

Infuriatingly, Dion just laughed. “I know.” He said, chuckling. “I just wanted to see the look of righteous indignation on your face when I told you to relax.” He paused, and grinned. “I know, I know, Drew, I’m an asshole.”

“You said it, I didn’t.” I grumbled, taking a very long swig of my beer.

“Don’t drink too much.” D said warningly, as he watched me down nearly half of my beer.

“Why not?” I grumbled. “It’s not like I’m actually going to get to see Sidney until we’re back at the hotel anyway.”

“True.” D said, taking a long swig of his own beer. “But you don’t want to pass out before he can actually make it up to your room.” He pointed out, and then he grumbled looking down at the ice. “That wasn’t a penalty.”

I rolled my eyes. The 67’s Elgin Reid, a D-man, had just taken an interference penalty, less then a minute into the game. “You’re only saying that because you’re a defenseman too.” I pointed out.

The Nics weren’t able to put anything together on the power play or on their next one, though they did manage to kill off a couple of penalties, when Eric headed to the box for cross-checking and then Michal Sersen took an interference penalty. Finally, in the middle of the first, with Reid back in the box, this time for roughing, Sidney scored from MAP and Patrick to give the Nics a 1-0 lead.

As the puck went in the net, I literally jumped on Dion, hugging him. “Ooof Drew.” D managed as he caught me, spilling most of his beer all over both of us as he did so. “You know it would be really helpful if you warned me that you were going to do that.”

I shrugged laughing. “It’s our game now honey.” I told him, kissing him on the cheek excitedly.
Less then 3 minutes later, they were able to add to that lead when Dany Roussin scored from Patrick and Mario. I jumped up again, and this time, D was ready to catch me. “There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played Drew.” He warned me.

“Don’t fucking jinx it Phaneuf.” I grumbled. “They’re off to a great start.”

“Yes, they are.” D admitted. “Just don’t count your chickens before they hatch is all I’m saying Drew.”

Unfortunately, Dion seemed to have a small point. Dany took an interference penalty before the end of the first period, and the 67’s Lukas Kaspar was able to score, unassisted to make the score 2-1 as the boys headed into the dressing room.

Needless to say I was not pleased, but like the other Nics fans in the stands, I tried to think positive. At least we still had the lead, and if the boys could come out of the gate as strongly in the second period as they had in the first, we might be able to get some insurance.

D knew better then to talk to me at this point. He let me stew and visited with fans and friends, signing a few autographs and, eventually, heading up to get us another round of beer for the next period. “Thanks D.” I muttered, as I took a beer from him, my eyes anxiously watching Sidney.

Fortunately, it seemed to help. Less then a minute into the period, Sid passed the puck to Patrick on the point, he let the shot rip and then MAP was able to put away the rebound. The Nics now had a 3-1 lead.

I jumped up and cheered, this time leaving my beer safely in the cup holder. “Told you so D.” I said to Dion, sticking my tongue out at him.

Dion laughed, still sitting, as he took a sip of his beer. While I was completely emotionally invested in the Ocèanics, Dion was a Dub boy, and part of him wanted a Dub team to come out on top… if only to prove the Dub is the toughest league in the CHL, so while he wanted Sidney to do well, and he would be thrilled if they beat the Knights or the 67’s, he wanted the Rockets to come out on top.

Even with a 3-1 lead, that wasn’t the end of my anxious moments. Not by a long shot. Less then three minutes in, a rookie, Graham Bona, took a penalty for interference. The Nics had barely killed that one off when Cèdrick managed to take a delay of game penalty which of course, had to be served by someone else who was on the ice at the time.

Just over a minute after the penalty to Cèdrick had expired, Eric Tremblay took a high-sticking penalty that sent the Nics down again. “Is Rimouski the only team on the ice capable of committing a penalty?” I grumbled angrily as Tremblay went into the box. “They aren’t going to be able to kill them off forever.”

It seemed however, that I was wrong for a change. The Nics did manage to kill off the penalty to Tremblay, and didn’t take another one in the second. Unfortunately, they also weren’t able to capitalize on two power play chances of their own as the second drew to a close.

“Twenty more minutes.” I muttered under my breath as the boys skated off the ice. “Just twenty more minutes guys.”

“They have to be aggressive though.” Dion cautioned, his eyes following the players as they made their way onto the ice.

I knew, just because I knew Dion that he was watching each player, evaluating their talent and comparing their abilities to his own. I also knew by the self-satisfied grin on his face that, as far as D was concerned there wasn’t a defenseman in this tournament who could out skate or out hit him.

Unfortunately, the boys on the Nics definitely hadn’t heard Dion’s comment about staying aggressive. Less then a minute into the period one of the 67’s scored to make it a 3-2 game.
I won’t go into great detail about the words that came out of my mouth when the puck went in the net, but suffice it to say, it was probably a very, very good thing that Taylor was sitting with her parents and couldn’t hear what I was muttering.

“Damnit.” I snapped, glaring at Dion.

Dion just laughed. “You cannot blame me for the fact that they came out flat.” He pointed out. “I just pointed out that it was a possibility.”

“And you know how that works Phaneuf.” I grumbled, cranky. “It went straight from your mouth to God’s ears.”

D just shrugged infuriatingly. “Still can’t lay the blame for this on me Drew.”

I glared at him again before turning my attention back to the ice. “Sure I can.” I grumbled. “I didn’t say it was your fault or anything. Just that I was going to fucking blame you.”

“Well I just said that you can’t blame me, so deal with it.” D said with a grin.

“Fuck you’re an ass.” I muttered.

“That line is so tired Drew.” D said, rolling his eyes. “Can you not come up with something new to call me?”

I just glared at him. He was being an ass for no apparent reason. “I’ll come up with something new only when you stop being an ass.” I replied.

Dion laughed and stuck his tongue out at me. “No way babe. I love you Drew, but I’m not going to change for any girl. Even one that I love.”

It was my turn to laugh. “You so will some day.” I told him firmly. “Some day some girl is going to come along, and you’re going to fall head over heels in love, and then you’ll do exactly as she pleases.”

D shook his head, his smile suddenly a little sad. “Drew do you really think that I’m going to be as lucky as Sidney has been?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, feeling confused.

“Drew, everyone knows who I am.” D said, his tone so close to condescending that I barely managed to keep from smacking him. “As soon as I start playing for the Flames, girls are going to be all over me. I’m going to be making money, and I’m a star. I’m not going to find a girl who loves me for me.”

Immediately, I reached over and grabbed his hand. “You deserve someone who loves you as much as I love Sidney D.” I told him firmly, squeezing his hand in mine. “And you’d better not settle for anything less.”

D laughed. “I know Drew, because if I even try to settle for less then you’ll bite.”

I giggled. “I don’t bite.”

“At least not unless he asks you to.” D quipped with a wicked grin and a matching gleam in his eyes.

“Only Sidney honey.” I laughed. “I’ve changed my promiscuous ways for the phenom.” I paused and grinned, looking down at the ice. “And who can blame me?”

Dion rolled his eyes and snorted. “Baby girl, I am a promiscuous. You’re just horny.”

I burst out laughing. D always managed to make me laugh. The truth of the matter is that when you hear that you’re a slut all the time, eventually you start to believe it, regardless of whether or not it’s true. D has always known this about me, and has always used his sexual exploits to make me feel less guilty about mine.

Girls are forced in our society to feel guilty about having sex. Apparently being sexually active and female is wrong. If, on the other hand, you’re a prominent hockey star and you kick a chick out of your car in the middle of nowhere because you’re drunk and she won’t give you a blow job, that’s perfectly acceptable. I mean, I love D, but after that incident he got shit from me for driving drunk AND for being an asshole to some poor girl who got into a car with her idol, only to discover he was some sex crazed jackass.

Deep down, I hate the way our society idolizes sports stars. They don’t deserve it when they can’t treat girls decently, and as far as I’m concerned that applies to every guy I know, regardless of how much I love them. There was no way in hell I was going to let Sidney get a piece of ass and then drift away from me. If nothing else, I could relax knowing that if he became an asshole, I had my D-fense to punish him, and I couldn’t help but be grateful that I had that…

Part 13 - Nobody's Perfect

By eleven thirty that night, I was sure that Dion had lied. Sidney hadn’t come by, though several of his teammates had. Mike Richards, who was in for the CHL Awards, had also come by, along with Jeff Carter and a couple of the other boys from Team Canada who were there for the awards.

But when Sidney hadn’t showed up by eleven thirty I gave up, and put on a pair of sweat pants (ones that once belonged to Dion, like most of my sweats) and a tank top. I crawled into bed, and took a book with me, thinking that I could read until I fell asleep.

This must have been exactly what I did, because the next thing I knew, someone was pounding on the door of my room. I rolled over with a moan and looked at the clock. It was only seven. “Fuck.” I muttered to myself as I literally rolled out of bed.

I pulled the door open. “What do you want?” I demanded.

“To kiss you….” Sidney said, pulling me into his arms as he stepped into the room, letting the door shut behind us.

His lips closed over mine and I moaned low. “Sidney….”

“I’m sorry Drew.” He murmured, his arms holding me prisoner. “I wanted to come and see you last night, but I had to go to the trainer. I took some nasty hits last night.”

I snuggled closer. “I know you did.” I said. “I was watching, and screaming with the best of them.”

“Yeah, Dad said that you yelled some interesting things at some of the refs.” Sidney chuckled with a grin.

“What can I say?” I said with a shrug, as I buried my face in his chest. “You smell good.”

Sidney burst out laughing. “So the reason you yell interesting things at officials is because I smell good?” He teased.

“Exactly.” I told him with a grin. “The refs need to make calls because when they don’t, you get all cranky and sweaty and then you don’t smell good anymore.”

Sidney laughed. “Drew I’m going to smell bad at the end of games, no matter what. That padding reeks.”

“I don’t know how you even manage to put it on.” I said, wrinkling my nose in distaste. “It’s disgusting.”

Sidney chuckled. “Remind me to hug you after the game tonight.”

“I will.” I told him with a grin of my own. “As soon as you’ve showered and changed.”

He leaned down and kissed me on the nose. “I love you.” He muttered.

“I love you too.” I whispered, my arms wrapped tightly around his waist. “But I would love to know why you decided to wake me at seven when I didn’t need to be up until nine at the absolute earliest.”

“Because I have to be on the ice at eight thirty and I thought what a better way to start my day then with breakfast with the most beautiful woman in the world?” Sidney said, with a grin.

“Well you’d better go and find her, ‘cause she’s probably getting sick of waiting for you.” I said, glancing around.

Sidney rolled his eyes. “You, Drew, are the most beautiful woman in the world.”

“You did notice that I literally just rolled out of bed right?” I teased him.

“Wearing Dion’s sweat’s from the looks of it.” Sidney said, looking me up and down.

“You are seriously not going to make me go downstairs to the restaurant like this are you?” I whined.

“Of course not.” He said, rolling his eyes again. “Room service should be here any minute. I just intend to be in the bathroom when it comes.”

I shook my head. “When are we going to be done with all this sneaking around?” I asked him. “I swear, I’m going to go nucking futs if we don’t get to end this soon.”

“I have to be eighteen remember?” Sidney replied, leaning down to kiss my nose again as someone knocked on the door. “It’s your rule after all Drew….”

I grumbled under my breath as Sidney immediately released me and ducked into the bathroom. I shook my head with a sigh. He said eighteen, but I knew full well that when he turned eighteen… when he’d been drafted to the NHL, then Pat’s plans for marketing him were going to get bigger.

And when Pat’s marketing plans for Sid got bigger, I’d be pushed farther and farther into the shadows. I answered the door and had the guy bring breakfast into the room before giving him a healthy tip. “Sid you can come out now.” I called when he was gone.

“You didn’t have to give him that much of a tip.” Sid said, reaching for his wallet.

“Who says I gave the guy a big tip?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.

Sidney shook his head with a wry grin. “The guy was stammering as you let him out.” He reminded me, in case I hadn’t been paying attention. “That told me, all by itself.”

I shrugged with a grin, snuggling into his chest. “It’s no big deal Sid, and I will not take your money.”

Sidney shook his head again, rolling his eyes as he did so. “Fine Drew, but I totally gave Taylor money for shopping today – so try not to spend too much on her.”

“Can we stop talking about money?” I asked him with a sigh, knowing full well exactly where this conversation was going to lead us. “We always argue when we talk about money.”

Sidney dropped a quick kiss on my forehead. “Of course baby, what do you want to talk about?”

“How’s your back?” I asked him anxiously, trying to get a good look at it. “You took some pretty dirty hits last night. I’ve been worried. Especially when you didn’t come to visit me last night.” I said pointedly. “D said that you would and then Marc-Antoine and Eric and Patrick all stopped by, and then Mike and Jeff and a couple of the other boys came by and you didn’t.”

Sidney shrugged, looking a little shamefaced yet a little irritated with me at the same time. “I told you Drew, I had some time with the massage therapist and the physio guy last night.” He told me. “I’ll be good to go tonight, I promise.”

“I don’t care about that.” I grumbled. “I care about whether or not your back is hurting.”

Sidney grinned at me. “God I love you.” He muttered, his lips taking possession of mine.

“I love you too.” I said, as I kissed him back gently. “Now you need to eat your breakfast before it gets cold.”

Sidney raised his eyebrows. “Don’t you mean before what you don’t eat and that which I am expected to eat gets cold?” He asked.

I shrugged with a grin. “Hey you chose to eat with me, and that means you basically chose to replace Dion. As such it is clearly your duty to eat whatever it is that is left on my plate when I have completed eating.”

“You are aware that next year Dion will not be living in Red Deer right?” Sidney asked. “And will therefore not be there to finish all of your breakfasts, lunches and dinners.”

“Calgary’s only an hour away the way that I drive.” I said with another shrug. “And that’s where he’s going to be next year.”

“So you’re going to spend your life on the highway between Red Deer and Calgary just so Dion can eat the remains of your meals?” Sidney asked with an amused grin.

“Well….” I said, feeling flustered, and suddenly worrying about next year and how I was going to manage without Dion. “I’ve been eating this way for a long time Sid… I think sometimes that I put extra food on my plate knowing that Dion is going to eat it when I can’t finish it.”

Sidney nodded, understanding in his hazel eyes. “I do understand baby.” He said, reaching across the table, and holding my hands in his, his thumbs softly playing with my hands. “Really I do.” He said.

I nodded. There are times when I think that Sidney actually does get it and other times when I’m just as positive that he has NO clue about how much I really do need Dion. I was scared about next year. “I’m scared.” I whispered, glancing down at our hands.

“Don’t be scared baby.” Sidney said gently, titling my chin with his hand gently so that I was looking him in the eyes. “Like you said… Calgary is only an hour away, the way that you drive, and I’ll be there for you too Drew… baby I know that I’m not Dion… I know that we don’t have what you have with him… but you and I have something special too….”

I smiled. “Of course we do… its definitely more special then anything I’ve ever had with any other guy.”

“And more special then anything I’ve had with any other girl.” Sidney interjected.

I laughed. “Damned straight it is.” I said with a grin. “Before me did you ever have anything with a girl that lasted more then a couple of weeks?” I asked.

“Not that I can think of, no.” Sidney replied with a wry grin. Then he raised his eyebrows. “And you have?”

“No, not really.” I said with a wry smile of my own. “But that’s who I am, and I refuse to be ashamed of it.”

“Same here.” Sidney said, smiling at me in that special way that let me know that he loved me more then anyone else in his life.

“But we have each other now.” I said, as if I were reminding us both of that fact.

“Yes.” Sidney said with a gentle smile. “We do.”

“That doesn’t mean that we still don’t need our friends though.” I pointed out. “I still need Dion.”

“I know.” Sidney said softly, that smile still on his face.

“Stop looking at me like that!” I commanded, blushing. “I am trying to have a serious conversation here.”

“Stop looking at you like what?” Sidney asked a wicked gleam in his eyes.

“Like you want to eat me.” I said blushing.

“But I do want to eat you.” Sidney replied, taking my hand in his and gently sucking on my index finger.

I shivered deliciously. “Stop it.” I whispered.

“That’s not what you really want to say baby.” Sidney replied, his eyes still burning into mine. “What you really want to say is ‘no, Sidney, please don’t stop,’” He said with a fake moan in a totally feminine voice.

I stuck my tongue out at him and pulled my hand out of his. “You are being a jerk Crosby.”

Sidney shrugged, with a wicked grin. “And you, Drew, are horny.”

“Shut up.” I snapped, feeling a little cranky, because I knew that he was right.

“Drew is horny, Drew is horny….” Sidney teased me, his thumb teasing the palm of my hand.

“You’re a jerk Crosby.” I said, a smile now on my face.

“You only say that because I speak truth.” He replied, grinning. “When was the last time you got laid?”

“You know DAMN well when the last time I got laid was.” I grumbled. “How about you?” I turned it on him. “With that… Amby in Halifax?”

“No.” Sidney replied blushing immediately.

“Who?” I asked.

“My usual, in Rimouski.” Sidney told me honestly, the blush still playing on his cheeks.

“Oh.” I said softly, to see how he’d respond.

“Drew I swear, I do love you.” He said immediately.

Seeing the look in his eyes and hearing the tone of his voice I burst out laughing, and Sidney immediately looked hurt. “Oh baby….” I murmured, taking his hand in mine and kissing it, gently sucking on his index finger, knowing full well that I was driving him crazy. “You know that I love you and want you to be happy.”

“I still shouldn’t fuck around on you.”

“Probably not.” I agreed with a shrug. “But I won’t worry about that until you and I are in the same time zone. If you cheat on me then… well then I’ll have no choice but to cut off your dick.”

Part 12 - Nobody's Perfect

As soon as the tournament started I knew that I wouldn’t see very much of Sidney. So he and I enjoyed what little time we had, knowing that it would be really the last time that we got to see each other before the tournament was over.

So we enjoyed a few hours together in the day we had preceding the tournament. I had flown in Thursday afternoon, and the tournament started for Sidney and the Nics against the hometown London Knights on Saturday night. I wished that I could have more time with him, but there wasn’t much that I could do about it.

So Saturday I spent most of the day with Trina and Taylor. We went shopping and hung out. It was nice, but I would have far rather spent the day with Sidney. To make matters worse, I knew that tonight’s game was going to be insanely hard.

Corey and Danny were playing on the Knights, and Sidney was friends with them after this year on Team Canada – both had been late cuts the year before too, so Sidney knew them from the year before as well. It was going to be a tough game for Sid to play.

That night, I dressed carefully, because more than anything, I wanted Sidney to win this game, and I wanted him to win this tournament. I wanted Sidney to have everything he had ever wanted out of life, because I knew instinctively that when Sidney was happiest he would do everything in his power to make me as happy as he was, and it would be good.

I put on a pair of well fitting jeans, a black tank top, and one of the Rimouski jersey’s that Sidney had sent me, though it wasn’t one of his. It was Eric’s. I figured that every other girl in that arena was going to be wearing a Sidney Crosby jersey and I definitely didn’t want to blend in with the crowd.

The Crosby’s had arranged for me to sit near them, but not with them. They didn’t want to ruin Sidney’s single status after all. So I would be sitting with the parents and friends and family of Sidney’s roommate, Eric Neilson.

It was a tough start to the first for the Nics. Less than three minutes into the game, Marc Methot opened the scoring for the Knights. With the score 1-0 just over a minute after the goal, Michal Sersen took a cross-checking penalty that put the Nics a man down.

Fortunately the Nics PK was able to kill off the penalty, but I couldn’t help being on the edge of my seat. It was nerve wracking, being down a goal in the Knights home arena. Less then 4 minutes after scoring the opening goal, Methot took an interference penalty that put the Nics power play on the ice.

Now I don’t know exactly how much CHL hockey you’ve seen, but the Nics have probably the most deadly power play in the entire CHL. It didn’t take very long for them to prove just how dangerous it could be. Thirty seconds into the power play, Sid put one in the back of the net, from MAP and Dany R.

“Yes!” I screamed, leaping from my seat as someone from the Rimouski group swung me around.

I giggled. No one here really knew each other that well, but if you were wearing an Ocèanic jersey, you were automatically part of the group… part of the family almost. Things seemed to be going the Nics way after that. They were dominating the play and setting the tone.

Before the first period was half over, Sidney set up MAP and the boys went up 2-1. This time, Taylor ran over to where I was and I scooped her up in my arms and gave her a big hug. “What do you think of that big brother of yours Tay?” I asked her, a grin plastered on my face as I spun her around.

Taylor squealed. “I can’t wait to watch him play next year.” She told me. “I can’t wait for you to watch him play next year Drew.”

I grinned down at the little girl. Her eyes were so like Sidney’s. “And why’s that Tay?” I asked her.

“Because he always plays better when he knows that you’re watching.” She informed me. “And with you watching him play all of next year, he’ll win the Rookie of the Year for sure.”

I shook my head with a smile. “I think you have a little too much faith in me there Tay.” I told her honestly.

“No way.” Taylor said shaking her head. “With you on his side my brother’s going places.”

I just shook my head. “We don’t know where I’m going to be in the fall there Tay. Neither does Sidney.”

“He told me that you were going with him.” Taylor pouted.

I sighed. “And I told him that we’ll see.” I told her with a small grin. “But I think your brother believes that he can talk me into just about anything. What do you think?”

Fortunately, Taylor giggled and grinned at me. “I think he can talk you into to it.” She said with conviction. “’Cause he talked you into coming to watch.”

“That he did.” I told her, ruffling her hair.

About seven minutes after the first goal, with the Nics on the power play after killing off penalties taken by Mario and Francois Bolduc, Dany Roussin scored from Scalzo and Desjardins to give the Nics a 3-1 lead.

The Ocèanic fans were going nuts as the boys headed to locker room with the lead. Even though Patrick Coulombe had just taken a high sticking penalty at the end of the period, they were still cheering as loudly as they possibly could for their boys.

It was surreal to be in that arena as the boys skated off the ice. Everyone had been talking about the London Knights all season. About how they had that great win streak – that record breaking win streak, and they really had ignored the Nics.

Yet here it was, the end of the first period of the first game in the most important tournament in the lives of many of these young men, and the team that everyone was discounting was up. So I cheered for my boys right along with them.

True, I hadn’t really met any of them other than Sidney, but they were still my boys. I’d spoken to each and every one of them on the phone several times. I was particularly close to Junior and Eric, but I loved them all. So those were the boys that I was cheering for as they took the ice in the second period.

The second period didn’t start the way the Rimouski fans wanted it to though. Just as Patrick was getting out of the box, Dan Fritsche hit the back of the net to make the score 3-2.
The Knights dominated the play in much the same way they had in the first period, out shooting the Nics, and causing the boys to take far too many penalties. When the second period ended, twenty minutes later, with the boys from Rimouski holding on to a one goal lead, I sighed with relief.

The boys hadn’t played well in the second, sending players to the box seven times to the Knights three. The Knights kept running Cedrick, and yet the refs continued to allow it. Brandon Purst was on him like white on rice. I could only imagine what Coach would have said to his boys if they’d played that way, and I hoped like hell that Doris Labonte was saying some of those same things to the Nics.

The Knights fans had all of the energy back and our section of the stands, despite the still having the lead, was decidedly quiet. This tournament could be hell, and only a team that was perfect was guaranteed to go straight to the final, and after a season like these boys had had, all of them could use the extra rest that the bye would give them.

I was anxious, as were Troy and Trina a few seats away from me. Trina smiled wanly at me. “One more to go.” She mouthed.

I grinned. I knew Trina well enough by now to know that every game… every incredibly important game like this one, without a comfortable lead, was enough to give her a stress induced heart attack. Anyone who knew me well knew the same could be said for me. I didn’t like close games. I liked it when my boys hit the ice and dominated.

I headed to the concession to get a diet coke. I needed a stimulant in my system if I was going to make it through this third period. So I went down to the concession, part way through intermission, as people started to return to their seats.

I’ve never been an exceedingly patient person, and waiting in lines at intermission has never been one of my favourite pastimes. So I waited until almost everyone had what they wanted before I bothered heading near the concession stand.

I got the diet coke, and headed back to my seat, arriving just in time to see one of the Knights score the tying goal. I groaned in frustration. This couldn’t be happening. These boys had worked too hard in this game for this too happen. I had to be imagining things.

Except of course, for the minor detail that I wasn’t imagining anything, the London Knights had in fact scored the tying goal. I watched the rest of the period in disgust. The Knights continued to out play my Ocèanics, and, not only were they out playing them, they were keeping the hometown crowd into the game.

So with the crowd behind them, the Knights outplayed the Ocèanic for the second straight period and had all of the momentum heading into overtime. I was just as angry as the other Nic fans. We were quiet, but we were pissed. Troy especially. Sidney had been taking a beating out there.
Unfortunately, they showed it to, when the OT frame started, the Knights came out flying and it looked like the Nics came out limping. Sidney looked like his back was bothering him again, and I was instantly concerned.

I was on my feet, with the rest of the crowd, starring anxiously down at the ice, and anxiously down at my baby. He looked dejected… tired. He hadn’t lost in so long, this had to be horrible. I mean, yeah, they’d lost that one game to Chicoutimi, but it wasn’t the same as this.

They’d hoped to open the Memorial Cup with a win. They’d come out flying. But the Knights had too much depth. They’d been able to come back, and Sidney looked like he wanted to hit something. Or cry.

Looking at him, I’m sure that most people around me only saw Sidney’s anger, but I knew him better then that. He was sad. He was upset. He hadn’t wanted to open the tournament like this.
Then he was looking into the crowd, his eyes searching, and I knew that he was looking for me. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to make my presence known, but I couldn’t help but give him a small wave. He was sad. He needed that little gesture. Sidney saw me, and nodded as he headed off the ice.

I sighed. I knew then and there that Sidney was going to be in an awful mood until they won a game, and the competition at this tournament was steep. Probably steeper then anything the Oceanics had faced before. It was going to take a lot to get him over this.

He would need for his team to win the next game and to win it big. I starred down at the ice as they called the three stars. Corey Perry was named third star, and then of course, Sidney was second star. He skated on the ice, his lips drawn and tight. He wanted to be back in the room with the boys.

“Drew are you going to go down, or are you going to go back to the hotel?” Troy asked in a voice that told me that the right answer was to go back to the hotel.

I sighed. “I suppose that I should probably go back to the hotel.” I said, feeling dejected. “Too much press around and all.”

“Exactly.” Troy said, with a relieved grin. “I knew that you’d understand Drew.”

I nodded. “Tell the boys that I said hi okay Taylor?” I said, since Taylor looked about as upset as I felt. “And tell Eric to keep Sid out of trouble until I can take over.”

Taylor grinned up at me. “Only if you promise to take me shopping tomorrow while Mom and Dad are watching Sidney practice and talk to the stupid media and all of that other stupid stuff he does all day.”

“If it’s okay with your Mom and Dad, then it’s a deal Taylor.” I told her, glancing and Trina and Troy, who nodded. “Then I’ll come get you at like, ten tomorrow morning okay?”

Taylor nodded, excited. “Don’t spoil her too much Drew.” Trina advised. “Her last shopping trip with you must have cost you a fortune.”

I shrugged. “I have a small fortune, and its mine to spend on whoever I want.” I said, ruffling Taylor’s hair. “And I can’t think of anyone better to spend my money on.”

“What about me?” Dion’s voice said dejectedly from behind me.

I rolled my eyes. “I can see my escort has arrived.” I said to the Crosby’s, ruffling Taylor’s hair again.

Dion shrugged. “I thought I was your best friend, not your escort. Though I suppose if the kid’s not taking care of business….” Dion grinned wickedly at me.

I stuck my tongue out at him and elbowed him in the side. “Do you have to do this in front of his parents Dion? Are you like programmed to embarrass me?”

Dion shrugged again and grinned. “I’m programmed to treat you the exact same way that you’re programmed to treat me Drew. Now come on, I’m hungry.”

I rolled my eyes. “When are you not hungry?” I demanded.

“Exactly.” D replied. “So come grab a bite with me, and then we’ll meet the Crosby’s back at the hotel.”

I shrugged, glancing at Trina and Troy, who were already herding Taylor towards the locker rooms. “I guess the decision’s already been made.” I said, taking D’s arm.

Dion leaned down and kissed me softly on the forehead. “Don’t worry about it Drew.” He said gently. “Things are stressful. Just get through the week hon, and everything will be okay.”

Part 11 - Nobody's Perfect

Sidney had to stop and sign a few autographs and shake a few hands when we entered the hotel, and so he sighed with relief when he was finally able to let himself into my room. “Finally.” He muttered, flinging himself down onto the bed.

I giggled, kicking off my shoes. “Tired baby?” I asked, sitting down next to him and gently stroking his hair.

“Yes.” He murmured, wrapping his arms around my waist and kissing my stomach through my shirt.

I stroked his hair as we sat in silence for several minutes. Leaning down I placed a soft kiss on his forehead. “God I’ve missed you.” I mumbled.

Sidney sat up and pulled me into his arms and onto his lap. “I’ve missed you too baby.” He murmured, pushing my hair to the side and kissing my neck softly.

I let him kiss me briefly. “Sid.” I whispered, leaning into him. “We can’t….”

“You always ruin my fun.” Sidney muttered, burying his face in my hair.

I chuckled. “Well if I let you have your way, I’d be naked and at your beck and call all of the time.”

“Not all the time.” He replied, looking offended. “I do enjoy your company in other ways.”

“Name one.” I said, folding my arms across my chest.

“I love the way you smell.” Sidney whispered, grabbing a handful of my hair and raising it to his nose to smell. “I love the way that you smile, and the way that you laugh.” He paused, his hand gently smoothing my hair away from my face. “I love the way that you tell me about your day, because even when its been a bad day you find something to laugh about. I love how optimistic you are. I love the fact that you aren’t afraid to bust my ass when you think that I’m wrong, and that you’re not afraid to tell me exactly what you’re thinking.”

He paused, and our eyes met. “There.” He said, with a wicked little grin. “That was at least ten things I love about you. The way I see it baby, it’s your turn.”

“My turn?” I asked. “To what?”

“Tell me all the reasons you love me.” Sidney said. “Unless of course, you only like me ‘cause I’m the phenom.”

“Didn’t your mother ever tell you that it’s not becoming to fish for compliments?” I asked, my eyebrows raised.

“Isn’t that what you were doing when you demanded to know one way that I liked spending time with you when you weren’t naked?” Sidney asked me with a grin. “Besides, I’ve never even SEEN you naked. For all I know, it might be disappointing.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “Ass.” I muttered.

“I prefer yours.” Sidney replied quickly, pinching mine.

I snuggled closer to him, kissing him softly on the cheek as his arms tightened around me. “Fine.” I gave in. “I love the way that you smile.” I told him. “I love the way that you like to make me smile. I love that you make sure to call me every night, even if it is at 5:30 in the morning. I love how you can make me shiver with just the sound of your voice. I love the way that you deal with all the pressure, with a friendly smile and a handshake. I love the way that you’re nice to everyone, even the teenage girls who want to rip your clothing off. I love the way that you don’t let them.”

I paused, taking a deep breath. “Is that good enough?”

“Definitely.” Sidney mumbled as he lowered his lips to mine.

I let him kiss me briefly. I couldn’t let this get too far, and I couldn’t let either of us get out of control, and that was exactly what was going to happen if I sat here on his lap kissing him for much longer. I could feel him, hard, pressed against me. He wanted me, and I wanted him, and no good was going to come of this.

His tongue twined with mine, and I moaned slightly as his hands slid up the side of my body, putting slight pressure on the sides of my breasts. I pressed myself against him… I wanted him so badly.

Apparently the feeling was mutual. Sidney moaned as I pressed myself against him and with a growl, he flipped me down onto the bed and covered my body with his. “God I want you…” He muttered ferociously as his lips met mine again.

The sound of his voice more than anything, brought me back down to earth. Panting, I pushed him away. “Sidney…” I whispered, my lips bruised and swollen from his kisses.

Sidney raked his fingers through his hair. “I know.” He muttered, flopping on his back on the bed next to me. “We can’t.”

I reached down and twined my fingers with his. “It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’ve already crossed a major line here. If you lived in Alberta my teaching license would be long gone by now.”

Sidney grinned wolfishly. “Good thing I’m not from Alberta then huh?”

“Very good.” I replied. “But it will be even better when you’re out of high school and you’ve turned 18.”

“Is that a promise or a threat?” Sid asked.

“A little bit of both.” I told him with a shrug. “Depends on what you want it to be Crosby.”

“I like the sounds of that.” Sidney said with a wolfish grin.

“I knew you would.” I replied as he wrapped his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close. “I like how it sounds too Crosby.”

“God, I never knew that I could miss one person so damned much.” He muttered, dropping a quick kiss on my forehead.

I rolled my eyes. “You never knew you could miss one girl this much Crosby.” I said with a wry smile. “Be honest now honey.”

He stuck his tongue out at me with a smile. “Fine.” He said petulantly. “I never knew that I could miss one girl so damned much.” He paused. “Better?” He asked.

“Yes.” I replied with a bit of a giggle.

We lay, cuddle together for awhile, relishing in each other’s presence. We hadn’t been together since January, and it occurred to me, as I lay there, my head on his chest, listening to his heart beat, with his hand stroking my hair, that we needed each other.

This… thing, between us, it wasn’t just because we wanted to sleep together. It wasn’t about sappy teenage love that comes from lust. Sidney and I needed each other. We just weren’t as strong without each other. We weren’t complete without each other, being here with him now… well everything that hadn’t made sense since January suddenly made all kinds of sense.

I sighed. Any decision I had to make about next year, it was decided as I lay there, cuddled with him. “You okay baby?” Sidney murmured when he heard me sigh, his hand still stroking my hair softly.

“I know you’re trying to think only about the Memorial Cup and all Sid, but I have to ask… not that you have to answer.” I added quickly.

“Have to ask what?” He asked, sounding tired.

“You’re tired aren’t you?” I replied, even though that totally wasn’t the question that I was going to ask him.

“Very.” He murmured.

I sighed again. I didn’t want to get in with this future shit with him now. Not if he was as tired as he sounded. “You’ve had a tough schedule lately.” I said, my handing smoothing his shirt over his chest.

Sidney reached with his free hand (the one that wasn’t stroking my hair) and pulled my hand off his chest, kissing the palm. “If you don’t stop touching me baby, I’m going to have you flat on your back with your pants off before you realize what’s going on.”

“That sounds interesting.” I murmured as I removed my hand. “But it will have to wait until you’re 18.”

Sidney shook his head. “The way you harp on that, you’d think my parents were going to charge you with statutory rape.” He muttered, clearly frustrated. “They haven’t charged any of the girls I’ve fucked and some of them have been older than you are Drew.”

His language and tone pissed me off. I pulled away from him and sat up angrily. “You know Crosby, you prattle on and on about love and shit, but you keep putting me in an awkward situation.”

“What awkward situation?” Sidney asked, sitting up straight, his arm coming around my shoulders.

“You tell me that you love me.” I snapped.

“Well I do love you baby… that’s the truth.” Sidney said, looking adorably confused.

“No you don’t.” I snapped angrily.

Sid’s arm dropped from around my shoulders and he ran his fingers through his hair, clearly irritated. “How the fuck can you say that baby?” He asked. “I love you. We were just talking about why we love each other and now you say that I don’t love you… what the fuck is up with that?”

I stood, feeling at a slight disadvantage as he towered over me on the bed. “If you really loved me….” I snapped irritated. “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t keep trying to put me in a situation where I could be charged with a crime. You don’t do things like that to people that you really love.”

Sid shook his head with a chuckle. “I’m serious.” I snapped, slightly offended.

“Baby, I love you and I know that my parents are never going to charge you with anything.” He said with a smile. He grabbed me around the waist and pulled me on top of him. “Now come here.” He growled.

I fell on top of him, straddling him, our bodies pressed tightly together as his lips met mine. His hand pushed on my lower back, molding my curves against his body. He was hard and well muscled. I loved it and I relished the feel of his lips on mine.

I wound my fingers in his hair pulling him closer as I do so. His hand came around and grabbed my ass. I moaned slightly and broke the kiss, leaning down to bite on his earlobe. “Bad Crosby. Bad.” I admonished him.

“You know you love me.” Sidney whispered, his voice low and dangerous as his lips made short work of my neck.

I rose and fell slightly against him, grinning as he groaned. When his hands came off of my ass, and started to lift my shirt, I knew that we had to stop, or Sid would have me naked on my back before I knew what as happening.

Sliding my hands up and down his chest, I grabbed his hands. “No way sweetie. You aren’t 18 yet.”

Sidney pouted. “But I’m horny.” He whined. “And it’s all your fault. You did this to me.”

I was tempted, believe me. But I resisted, climbing off his lap and cuddling up to him. “I love you Crosby.” I told him softly, burying my face in his chest.

Dropping a quick kiss on my forehead, Sidney’s voice was gentle. “I love you too Drew. God do I love you.”

Part 10 - Nobody's Perfect

As it turned out, I did in fact, hold out the longest. Sidney ended up having to go to the bathroom, as I expected he would. So he promised that he would come to visit me for part of the summer, and that he would move heaven and earth to keep that promise.

The minute he made that I promise, I knew that he would do anything that he could to keep it. This is why I flew out to London with Dion a couple of weeks later, feeling ecstatic at the thought of seeing Sidney again. Sidney had this way of making me feel safe, and I appreciated it, if only because I needed it.

I mean, a girl can be as independent as she wants to be, but deep down inside, all of us, male and female, want the person that we’re with to make us feel safe. Sidney did that for me. Sidney was a safe harbour for me. He was someone who I knew loved me because of and in spite of, everything that I am.

He was far from perfect himself, but I knew that together, he and I could conquer anything. At least, that’s how I felt whenever I talked to him or spent any time with him. So I couldn’t wait to be with him again.

Not that D would leave it at that. D-fense enjoyed giving me a rough time about it the entire flight to London. I was too excited to care, which just made Dion laugh harder, the loser.
When we arrived in London, I immediately turned on my cell. I didn’t think that Sidney would be able to meet us at the airport – he’d told me earlier that he was going to be pretty busy with the media over the next little while.

I got off the plane with rather low expectations. I assumed that D and Coach would be met by some of the CHL brass and they’d be shuttled off to the hotel while Dion would grumble about me being left behind. So I was incredibly surprised when I made my way through the gate with D and Coach, only to see Troy Crosby standing there waiting for me.

No, he wasn’t Sidney, but it was incredibly sweet to see Troy. I’d actually come to like him, especially since he was always calling with updates about Sid’s games and stuff. “Troy!” I cried happily.

“How are you Drew?” He asked, giving me a fatherly hug, a big smile on his face.

“Anxious.” I told him honestly. “I’ve missed Sid a lot.”

Troy rolled his eyes, a grin still on his face. “Not more than he’s missed you Drew, I promise.” He grinned conspiratorially at me. “Just don’t tell Sid that I told you.”

“Deal.” I said. “So what’s the plan?” I asked as I followed Troy out to a rental car.

“Well, as you can see, Dion and Coach Sutter have been snatched up by PR people, which is actually where Sidney is right now. He’s doing an interview with Sportsnet.” He explained. “So we’re going to go meet him there.”

“Good.” I said, trying as hard as I could not to betray to Troy just how excited I was. “Are Trina and Taylor around?”

“They’re at the hotel. They’ll meet you and me after the interview.” Troy told me.

“Sid’s with the team?” I asked.

“Yeah, and he’ll have to spend most of the time with the team.” He replied. “I hope you’re prepared for that.”

I nodded. “Of course I am. I made it through isolation during the World Juniors, I’ll use my time hanging out with Dion and the other guys whose teams didn’t make the show who are up for individual awards.” I told him. “Not that I don’t want to spend time with Sid, because I do.” I added quickly. “But I know that he’s not going to have a ton of time for me.”

Troy smiled at me. “Knowing my son, he’ll make as much time as he can for you.”

I smiled back at him. “I know that he will.”

We made small talk the rest of the way to the venue where the London Knights play their hockey. There were a bunch of barricades set up around the Ocèanic bus, which was parked in this open space next to the rink. Sidney was sitting on a stool as he spoke to a woman from Sportsnet.

“He should just be a few more minutes.” Troy said, looking with his watch and then fiddling with it.

“Okay.” I said, unable to keep the grin from my face.

Troy continued to fiddle with his watch, looking uncomfortable as I watched Sidney eagerly. I glanced over at him after a few moments and he was still fiddling with his watch. “Is something wrong Troy?” I asked. “Because you seem a little uncomfortable if you ask me.”

Troy blushed. “You got me.” He told me.

“So what is it?” I asked.

“Well for interviews like this, Pat has to approve the questions.” Troy said awkwardly.

“I know.” I said nodding. “Sid and I’ve talked about it.”

“Well one of the questions that Pat approved… umm you might be a little uncomfortable with it.” Troy said. “Especially when you hear Sidney’s answer.”

“She’s asking the girlfriend question isn’t she?” I replied with a bit of a grin.

“Umm yes.” Troy said, sounding as uncomfortable.

“And he’s answering no isn’t he?” I said, shaking my head.

“Umm yes.” Troy answered looking as uncomfortable as he sounded.

I rolled my eyes. “It’s not a big deal Troy.” I told him. “They ask the girlfriend question all of the time. I’m used to hearing that he doesn’t have one by now.” I paused. “Besides.” I added. “Sid isn’t 18 yet, so I’m technically not his girlfriend yet.”

Troy grinned and gave me a bit of a one armed hug. “I should have known that we could count on you to understand this situation.”

“So I guess no running and jumping on him when the interview is done huh?” I teased with a smile.

“Probably not the best idea.” Troy answered with a quick grin. “But we’ve arranged to take Sidney back to the hotel for a little while and you two can have some time alone then.”

“Thanks Troy.” I told him. “I appreciate it.”

Troy shook his head. “I keep forgetting that you aren’t a sixteen or seventeen year old girl.” He said. “Because any of them would have freaked out on the idea that they couldn’t kiss their boyfriend as he came off the set.”

I shrugged. “I never kiss him Troy.” I said firmly, a teasing grin on my face. “Sidney kisses me.”

Troy grinned and shook his head. “Whatever you say Drew.” He replied. “Whatever you say.”

I smiled back at him and watched, a smile on my face, as Sidney made his way over to his Dad and I. “Drew!” He called with a wave.

“Hey Sid.” I answered, opening my arms to hug him, but then I remembered what Troy had said, and I put my arms down.

He walked over to us, a smile on his face. He didn’t hug me, or touch me or kiss me. He just leaned into me and whispered in my ear, his voice deliciously low and smooth. “God I missed you baby.”

Troy smiled at Sidney indulgently. “Let’s get you two to the hotel before you make yourself look like a liar please, Sidney.”

Sidney just smiled at me as we made our way to the rental car. Sidney held the passenger side door open for me and leaned in to whisper in my ear. “I love you baby.”

His voice was always low and sensuous when he said things like that. It was enough to make me melt there and then. “I love you too Crosby.” I replied.

“Good.” He answered, his small smile meant for me alone.

I smiled back at him. There was something about the way that he smiled at me that made me feel so incredibly special. I’d missed that. “I want you to kiss me Sidney.” I whispered softly, my breath hot in his ear.

Sidney moaned slightly. “You are going to drive me insane Drew.”

“Of course.” I said.

Troy cleared his throat. “You two do realize that you aren’t alone yet right?”

I blushed a deep shade of red, but Sidney just grinned and squeezed my hand in his from the back seat of the car. “We know.” Sidney said with a big grin. “I just want to be alone with her now.”

“So I gathered.” Troy said gruffly, as he chuckled.

Sid shrugged. “I’m fairly transparent where Drew’s concerned.”

“You’ll have to work on that.” Troy said seriously, as he pulled out of the parking lot. “Because you know the marketing plan for next year as well as I do.”

Sid just shrugged again, his fingers twined in mine. “And I’ll worry about it AFTER we’ve won the Memorial Cup Dad.”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself.” Troy warned him. “You boys need to take it one game at a time.”

Sid rolled his eyes as he squeezed my hand in his. “I know Dad. You’ve been telling me that since I was what? Five?”

“I just don’t want you to be disappointed.” Troy replied. “London has a strong team. Kelowna’s defense is going to be tough to beat. They’ve got some big tough Dub defensemen on the team.”

Sidney grinned at his Dad. “You forgot Ottawa.”

“Kitchener could have beaten Ottawa.” Troy said dismissively. “In fact, I think you would have had more trouble with Kitchener then you will with Ottawa.”

“Mikey feels the same way.” I told Troy. “I talked to him a couple of days ago.”

Sidney shrugged. “Well they aren’t here.” He said with a wink for me. “So that’s one less team for us to worry about. We just have to get through London and Kelowna.”

“Don’t sit back too much on Ottawa.” Troy warned. “They might surprise you if you take that kind of attitude.”

Sidney rolled his eyes. “We know Dad. Trust me. The team is ready for this. Cèdrick is ready for this. Dany, Marc-Antoine, Mario, Patrick and I are ready. Mark, Danny and Zbynek are ready. We’re all ready to play and we know that every single game is going to be a battle. We’ve lost one game in our last thirty something.” He said, making me smile since he couldn’t remember the exact length of his own win streak.

“We’ve been battling since I got back from the World Juniors Dad. We’re going to keep battling and we’re going to keep winning.” Sidney said firmly. “But to do that we need to believe that we can. We’re here, we’ve made it and we’re focused and we’re ready.”

Troy nodded his approval as he pulled up to the hotel. “Good.” He said. “Because it only gets harder from here on out.”

Part 9 - Nobody's Perfect

The next day I was so lethargic at work that my principal thought that I was getting sick and he sent me home after first period. It was only nine thirty in the morning and I had no idea what to do with myself.

Realizing that I was tired, I tried to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep, but the sun shone too brightly in the windows, even through the curtains to really let me fall asleep. With a restless sigh, I rolled over and out of bed. I wanted to talk to Sidney, but I knew that he was probably asleep.

So instead, I wandered around my place, picking up the mess that Dion, Colin and their friends had made the night before. It was as I was cleaning up their mess that I remember what Sidney had said the night before about my conversation with Amber… turn about is fair play.

Well he’d called in the middle of the night and interrupted me twice in the past six days. Surely to God I could call him and wake him up for a change. It was all for a good reason after all, because I did want to talk to him. I wanted to tell him that I love him.

So I picked up the phone and dialed the familiar number. For some reason, I wasn’t really all that surprised when a female voice answered the phone. “Hello?” The tired voice said.

“Hey.” I replied. “Can you wake Sidney for me?” I asked.

“Who is it?” The voice asked.

“Drew Whitney.” I replied.

“I’m not sure I should wake him for you.” The voice said, tiredly and uncertainly.

I shrugged. “Well he called me at four in the morning local time, so since its, what, one in the afternoon out there? You can wake him for me okay?”

“Are you sure?” She said hesitantly. “Sid didn’t, like go to sleep until a couple of hours ago.”

“I got sent home from work because I looked tired, and I was, because Sidney called me at four am.”

In the background I heard Sidney mutter something as he was clearly awakened by the conversation that was going on right next to him. “Who is it Ambie?” His voice said clearly.

“Someone named Drew.” Ambie, who I assumed was also Amber, replied.

“Fuck.” Sidney replied as he took the phone. “What the hell are you doing Drew?” He asked. “It’s like, one in the afternoon and I’ve been out all night.”

I shrugged. “Well like you said last night honey, turn about is fair play.” I paused. “Besides, I got sent home from work because I looked like I was totally sick because I was so tired after one period, waiting most of the night for to call, and two, because you called me at four in the morning.”

“So what do you want?” He asked irritably in a tired voice.

“To tell you that I love you.” I snapped with a shrug, feeling irritated myself. “But if its inconvenient for you, I suppose I can tell you later.”

“Drew, I’m sorry baby.” Sidney replied, instantly awake. “I’m just tired.”

“So was I when you called me at four am.” I told him.

“I’m sorry about that baby, but I didn’t find out that you called until then.” He replied. “If I’d know I would have called earlier….”

“Yet you still clearly spent the night with the girl who answered the phone when I called and would only tell me that you were otherwise occupied.” I said pointedly.

“Ambie?” I could tell that Sidney was turning to her.

“I didn’t think you’d want me to interrupt your celebrating.” I heard her voice say.

“Fuck. Drew I am so sorry baby.” Sidney said. “If I would have known, I would have called you back right away. I didn’t even notice that she’d answered the phone.”

“Baby?” Amber asked, sounding petulant.

“Give her the phone Crosby.” I said with a bit of a smirk.

Sid chuckled. “Be nice Drew. I was nice to yours.”

“No you weren’t.” I said pointedly. “He accused of you of being jealous.”

“Well I was baby.” He replied honestly. “Aren’t you?”

“Not at all.” I replied.

“Not even a teensy, tiny bit?” Sidney teased.

“Maybe just a little bit.” I said. “Now quit delaying the inevitable and hand her the phone Crosby.”

Sidney chuckled. “I love you.” He said in a clear voice. “Talk to her Ambie.” I heard him say as he passed off the phone.

“What do you want?” Amber said hesitantly.

“I just want to point out something that you should already know honey.” I told her. “I’m not sure where you are, but when Sidney leaves, or you leave, or you both leave, Sidney isn’t going to want to see you again.”

“What makes you think that you know what’s going on his head?” She demanded. “I’m the one who gave him what he needed last night.”

I rolled my eyes. “Honey, someone will always give my sweetie what he needs physically, but what I give him is on a whole other level.”

“What level is that?” She snapped.

“I fulfill his emotional needs honey, all you did was let him pump and dump you.” I told her. “He loves me honey… did you hear that?”

“If he loves you so much, then why aren’t you here celebrating with him?” She demanded.

“I’m not there, not because I don’t want to be or he doesn’t want me to be honey. I’m not there because I have a life, and a job in another part of the country. I’ll see him in London.” I told her. “And he knows that.” I paused. “You know you might have been able to be his friend, but you were an idiot, and you didn’t tell him that I’d called. The way I see it, you basically just fucked yourself over.”

“Sidney?” Her voice said trembling.

“Where the fuck are we?” He asked in reply, clearly ignoring the fact that she was upset by what I was saying.

“At Blair’s.” She replied.

“How’d I get here?” He asked, and I knew that he was running a hand through his hair.

“You and your teammates came in a cab.” She said, her voice still wavering.

“Give Sid the phone honey.” I told her, deciding that now was the time to play the good cop.

“Sidney, she wants to talk to you.”

“What’s up baby?” Sidney said.

I rolled my eyes. “You heard every word of that you liar.” I teased him. “Now here is what you are going to do.”

“Oh really?” Sidney said, before I’d had a chance to give him any of my instructions.

I rolled my eyes again. “Just listen before you get all pissy honey.” I told him. “You are going to find your pants. I don’t care if you can’t find your drawers and you have to go commando. You are going to find your pants and you are going to put them on.”

“Done and done Drew.” Sidney replied a minute later.

“Now find your shirt and the RBK hoodie you were wearing last night.” I told him. “And put those on.”

“How did you know I was wearing an RBK hoodie last night?” Sidney replied.

I had no choice but to roll my eyes again. “When are you NOT wearing an RBK hoodie these days?” I teased him.

Sidney chuckled. “Good point babe. Speaking of RBK, did you get my package yet?” He asked.

“Package?” I asked. “Not yet.” I paused. “Why did you send me a package?” I asked.

“I sent you a package because I wanted to.” He said and I knew that he was shrugging.

“Well now I’m going to be anxiously waiting for it.” I told him. “But you didn’t have to send me anything.”

“I wanted to.” He repeated. “Okay “Mom”.” He teased me. “I put my shirts on. Now what?”

“Now you are going to go call Junior or Eric and one of them is going to come get you and take you to your parents place.” I told him.

“What about me?” I heard the girl whine in the background.

“Tell her that she is going to go call one of her friends to come pick her up and then she is going to go home and spend the rest of her life kicking herself because she pisssed off the phenom’s girl.” I told him.

Sidney chuckled. “It’s never a good idea to piss of my girl baby. Even I know that.”

“You’d better know that.” I told him with a grin. “Because otherwise you’re going to end up having to do a lot of making things up to me.”

“Well I can think of many ways to make things up to you baby.” Sidney said, and I could hear him shutting a door behind him. “But unfortunately, I don’t think that you’re going to let me try any of them until after my birthday.”

“You’re probably right about that honey.” I told him honestly.

“I know.” He said mournfully. “So I’m going to have to rely on girls like Amber for a little while longer.”

I rolled my eyes. “So what are you going to do today honey?” I asked.

He paused. “Find a way home to my parent’s place.” He said. “Talk with you on the phone all day, since you have the day off.”

“All day?” I replied, raising my eyebrows.

“All day.” Sid answered firmly.

“Do you really think that we have enough to say to each other to keep ourselves occupied all day?” I asked him. “I mean, not that I don’t love the idea of talking to all day and all honey, but I do have some things that I should probably do.”

Sidney pouted. “But I miss you.” He whined. “And I want to spend the day talking to you.”

“You’re hung over.” I accused him with a bit of a smile. “You’re going to want to eat and drink before long.”

“That sounds like a bit of a challenge to me.” Sidney replied.

I shrugged. “Take it how you’d like honey.”

“Well then, I bet you that I can hold out longer than you can.” He told me.

“Oh really?” I asked, eyebrows raised. “What exactly are you betting me?” I asked him.

“If you hold out the longest then I’ll come and visit you for part of the summer out in Red Deer.” Sidney told me.

“And if I lose?” I asked.

“Then you’re going to have to let me do some of those things I’ve been thinking about doing to you long before my birthday.”

Part 8 - Nodbody's Perfect

The next night, D, Coly and I were gathered back in front of my computer screen. I had a feeling in my gut that this was the last one. The boys were going to end it tonight. They wanted to be well-rested when they hit London, and another game would not help that.

I knew when I talked to Sidney on the phone at lunch that he was in the zone. He was almost D like with the lack of talking. But he wanted to hear me talk, so I talked. Unfortunately, the game didn’t start as well the Nics as they had in the previous games.

Halifax opened the scoring in the first period on the power play and the boys were unable to answer back in the first frame. So I did what I do best when my team is down and out. I cursed.
Coly and D just laughed at me. They didn’t seem at all concerned that Rimouski was down at the end of the first. In fact, while I was cursing colourfully in several languages, Dion laughed at me and said. “There is still forty minutes of game left Drew. Calm down.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “I am well aware of that. I just don’t like the idea of my boys being down. I’d feel the exact same way if it were you boys out there on the ice.”

Coly rolled his eyes. “I am totally well aware of that.” He said. “Remember, I’ve sat with you at games before when I was hurt.”

I shrugged. “You both have. So you both know.”

“Well calm down and have a drink Drew.” Dion advised. “You’re going to see him soon anyway.”

I glared at D. “He won’t want to see me if he’s not playing and you fucking know it.” I snapped.

D rolled his eyes at my outburst. The nice thing about having a friend like Dion, someone who knows you as well as he knows me, is that they don’t freak out over your freak-outs. D knew full well that I wasn’t angry with him. “Fuck you need to get laid Drew. Maybe that will calm you down.”

“I got laid this weekend remember?” I grumbled. “You guys teased me mercilessly last night.”

“I mean you need to fuck Sidney.” D clarified. “Good sex always calms you down, and no matter what you say, I’ve heard enough stories to know that sex with Aaron is never really all that great.”

“It’s a good thing you qualified that statement with I’ve heard stories.” I teased him with a smile. “Because if you hadn’t I would so be demanding how you came across this knowledge unless you were playing for the other team.”

D grinned at me and ruffled my hair. “I know you would. I’ve learned a thing or two since we’ve met Drew.”

Coly meanwhile, was doing what he always did when D and I were snarking at each other. He sat back, drank his beer and laughed. “She did get you good a few times Neuf.” He pointed out, in case D had forgotten.

D glowered at him. “I haven’t exactly forgotten Fraz and its not like she hasn’t gotten you good more than once.”

I yawned, feigning disinterest. “What can I say? I am perfection personified.”

D and Coly both snorted, but said nothing. The second period was about to start. It took nearly seven minutes, but finally Sidney was able to light the lamp for the Nics. It was his fourteenth goal of the playoffs, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of him. Junior got the assist and I was momentarily appeased and elated, especially when it looked like the Nics had taken control of the game.

Unfortunately this did not appear to be the case when four minutes or so later, when Halifax took the lead back to the joy of the hometown crowd. D, Coly and I moaned however, as the Mooseheads’ player managed to get one by Cèdrick. None of us would say it, but we were all questioning whether or not the Nics had enough left to pull this one out.

Less then two minutes later, Zbynek Hrdel scored unassisted to bring the Nics back. D and Coly laughed at me as I jumped up in excitement and spilt diet coke all over the place. Fortunately for me, I also spilled all over the two of them. I headed to the kitchen to grab a cloth when I heard D and Coly yelling in excitement.

“Drew hurry up and get in here!” D called.

“I’m…. why?” I demanded trailing off, having thought better of yelling, I’m coming, which would only have resulted in a plethora of dirty comments from D and Coly.

“Because they just scored again.” Coly replied.

“They who?” I demanded, rushing into the living room.

“Rimouski.” D said. “Francis Charette, unassisted.”

“Good. This is more like it.” I said.

I was always much more comfortable when my boys were leading. Now that the boys were up by one I was much happier. Just over three minutes later Marky added to the tally with his sixth of the playoffs. So I relaxed with Coly and D during the intermission and let Coly make me a drink.

Dion had offered to make me a drink, but I learned a long time ago that the way D mixes drinks means that you get drunk very, very quickly. I had to work the next day, so letting Coly do it meant that I wasn’t getting totally wasted, but they couldn’t give me a hard time about not drinking.

The third period was pretty boring. The Rimouski boys were pretty much just trying to hold the lead and keep their excitement under control. The Mooseheads did manage to get within one with about nine minutes left in the period, but Sidney and the boys were able to hold on, and D, Coly and I jumped up and hugged each other in excitement as Sidney and the boys won.

The boys continued drinking in celebration and D called some of his friends to come hang out and drink and so I retreated to my bedroom to wait for the phone to ring. Sidney would call eventually, and it was just a matter of time before the phone rang.

Except that time didn’t seem to come. D, Coly and their friends in the living room were getting louder and louder and rowdier. Anxiously I started pacing back and forth. Eventually I even ventured out into the living room to see if someone was on the phone.

No one was though. Angrily, I stormed back to my room. It was nearly 11 our time, which meant it was approaching two am in Halifax. I was pissed off. I picked up the phone and dialed Sidney’s cell number.

“Hello?” A perky female voice answered.

I was instantly jealous, but I decided that I was going to take the high road here. “Trina?” I asked. “Is Sid around?”

“Who’s Trina?” The girl replied suspiciously. “I think you have the wrong number.”

“Is Sidney around?” I asked again.

“He’s busy.” She replied, again sounding suspicious.

“Who are you?” I asked, forcing myself to keep my voice calm.

“Who are you?” She snapped back.

“I asked you first.” I snapped.

“Amber.” She snapped. “And like I said, Sidney is busy, so who are you?”

“I’m Drew Whitney.” I replied. “Tell him I called please.”

“Why would I want to do that?” She snapped.

“Because Sid has call display and if he sees that I called and that you didn’t tell him that I did… well just trust me, he’s going to be upset honey.” I told her condescendingly.

“Doubtful.” She snorted. “How do you know Sidney anyway?”

“Honestly honey, that’s none of your damn business.” I replied.

“Well if you want me to tell Sidney that you’ve called, you should probably tell me how you know him.” Amber said nastily.

I rolled my eyes. “I’m Dion Phaneuf’s cousin.” I told her. “I went with D to Grand Forks and I met Sidney.”

“Well like I said, Sid isn’t available.” She said in a snooty tone of voice.

“If Sid’s not available at the moment, is Eric Neilson or Junior around?” I asked, determined not to let her win.

“Eric’s busy.” She replied. “And I don’t know who Junior is.”

With that, she hung up on me. I waited until midnight and then decided that enough was enough and I was going to bed. Not that I really slept. I spent several hours tossing and turning restlessly before I finally drifted off to sleep. I felt like I had just drifted off to sleep when the phone rang and woke me.

Jumping up, I reached over to answer the phone. “Hello?” I muttered sleepily.

“Drew?” Sidney’s voice asked, yelling over loud music.

“Sidney? Where the hell are you?” I demanded loudly, knowing that I was probably going to wake Dion (and whoever was keeping his bed warm) up, but totally not caring.

“At a party.” He replied. “Give me a second, I’m going to try and find someplace quieter.”

I waited about two minutes as Sidney clearly made his way through the party and upstairs. “Sorry I missed your call.” He said, as soon as he was somewhere the music couldn’t quite reach.

I shrugged and rolled over, yawning as I did. “That’s okay.” I told him, unable to keep the jealousy from my voice. “I got to talk to your friend Amber.”

“Well that must have been about as fun for me as talking to your friend Aaron was.” Sidney said, clearly hearing the jealousy in my tone.

“Actually it was probably less fun.” I told him. “Because you just had to listen to him insult me and not believe that you’re Sidney Crosby. I had to listen to her insult me and demand to know who I was and how I knew you.”

“Sorry baby.” Sidney said, and I knew then that he was drunk. “But turnabout is fair play.”

“You’re drunk.” I replied.

“Yes.” He said. “We just won the freaking President’s Trophy. And it broke.” He added. “Did you see that Drew?”

“Sidney? Do you have any idea what time it is here?” I asked tiredly.

“Well….” He said slowly, and I knew the he was peering at his watch. “It’s seven am here.”

“Which means that it’s four here honey.” I replied. “Can you please stop calling me in the middle of the night? I love you and all, but I’ve barely slept. You promised me that you’d call and you never did, and I waited and waited, and I’m exhausted and I have to work tomorrow.”

“All you ever do is complain.” Sidney snapped angrily.

“Excuse me?” I replied, instantly completely awake and angry.

“I said, all you ever do is complain.” Sidney replied. “I called didn’t I?”

“In the middle of the bloody night.” I snapped, tired and easily irritated. “I have to work tomorrow, so I’m going to go now. Call me when you’re, like, sober or sane again or something.”

Part 7 - Nobody's Perfect

About an hour after Dion and Coly left my phone rang. I waited a minute or two to answer knowing full well who it was. “Hello?” I answered after the phone had rung four times.

“Took you long enough.” Sidney grumbled in reply.

“I’m sorry.” I said in a small voice, unsure what had happened to piss him off.

There was an awkward silence for several long moments and then Sidney sighed. “Sorry baby.” Sidney said in a tired voice. “I’m just a little pissed off and I shouldn’t take it out on you.”

“You’re right.” I told him honestly. “You shouldn’t take it out on me.” I paused, letting that sink in before asking. “Would it help if you told me about it?”

“I’m just… tired Drew.” He replied. “So many games and so much travel and its just tiring.”

“You haven’t left the rink yet have you?” I asked softly, sensing that he was irritated because he’d spent about an hour with the press after the game and he didn’t want to go out those doors because when he did, he would have to spend at least another hour signing autographs.

“No.” He said in a small voice. “I wanted to talk to you first.”

I could have kissed him that was so sweet. In fact, I probably would have kissed him if he was anywhere nearby. “Awe, sweetie.” I murmured, so pleased that I was unsure of what else to really say.

“I just needed to hear your voice.” He said gruffly, and I knew then that some of the guys were still around.

“I love you too Sidney.” I whispered.

‘Thanks baby.” He replied, and I knew that he needed to hear me say that, but didn’t want to have the guys hear him tell me he loved me.

“Are you going to go out and sign autographs now?” I asked, after a few more moments of silence.

“I don’t want to yet.” Sidney said. “Tell me about your day or something Drew.” He said. “I can’t, well, I can’t go out there just yet.”

I smiled softly. “Well it wasn’t exactly a wild and exciting day or anything like that Sid. I mean, I went to work in the morning, I taught a Social Studies class, a Law class and two History classes. None of the classes were really well behaved, but none of them were really bad.” I told him. “After school D picked me up because I’d lent him my car for the day, and we went and picked up Coly and then went and grabbed some booze, since Friday did some real damage to my stores.”

Sidney chuckled at that. “Well you were still totally hammered at 5:30, so you must have gotten good and drunk.”

I shrugged. “Dion and I were celebrating.” I pointed out.

“So was I, but I didn’t get that drunk.” Sidney replied with a laugh.

“I would so be sticking my tongue out at you if I were anywhere in your general vicinity.” I told him a little petulantly.

Sidney chuckled. “And I would say don’t stick it out if you aren’t going to use it.”

“I’d lick something sweetie.” I told him. “It just probably wouldn’t be what you were wanting me to lick.”

Sidney grumbled. “Yeah, you would cheat like that.” He muttered. “So what did you do after you got the drinks?”

“D and Coly came over and we watched the game and they drank, while I sat there feeling ill at the mere thought of more alcohol.” I told him. “They poured me a drink, but almost all of it is still sitting on the computer desk.”

Sidney laughed. “Can’t keep up with the boys anymore?” He asked.

I shrugged. “I do have to work tomorrow Sid.” I pointed out.

“But you couldn’t even finish one drink.” Sidney teased me.

I stuck my tongue out at him. “I so just stuck my tongue out at you.” I told him.

“I wish you were here right now.” He grumbled.

I smiled. “Well you win one more and I’ll see you in London sweetie.”

“You’re planning on going anyway aren’t you?” Sidney asked. “Because Dion’s going?”

“If I was going to get tickets and a flight sweetie, I had no choice but to book early.” I said. “D and Coach helped with the tickets, since he’s up for Defenseman of the year, and all.”

“Well I’ll be there either way too.” Sidney said. “So I don’t need to win one more, I’ll still get to see you.”

“Like you’d want to be there if you weren’t playing.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Well no, but if I wasn’t playing then I could spend more time with you.” He said.

“And after the Memorial Cup, and the NHL Combine, you are going to sneak off and spend a couple of weeks with D and I in Red Deer, so you’re going to get to spend a lot of time with me.” I told him.

“I’m looking forward to every minute of it.” He said softly. “I’ve missed you baby.”

“I’ve missed you too sweetie.” I replied. “But I think that you need to go and sign some autographs. We’ve been on the phone for a long time, and there are probably still people out there waiting for you.”

“Can I call you back when I’m done?” He asked quietly.

“Of course.” I said with a gentle smile. “It’s still early here sweetie.”

“Good.” He said. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

It was nearly two hours before my phone rang again, and this time, I hurried to answer it. “Hello?”

“Hey baby.” Sidney’s voice replied, sounding tired.

“How’d it go?” I asked.

“Like always.” He said.

“So there was some asshole there who had you sign like, fifty things which you know are going to end up on Ebay?” I asked, knowing immediately why he was bitter.

“Not only one of them baby.” He replied. “There were at least four of them.” He said. “And I fucking hate that.”

“I know you do sweetie.” I told him, my voice soft and gentle. “Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about those kind of jerks, and you don’t want to stop signing autographs for people who are actually going to treasure your autograph.”

“I know.” He said. “It just irks me that people are trying to make a dollar off my name.”

“I think you need to get used to that Sid.” I told him honestly. “I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but people have already been making a buck off your name. Hockey Canada has, the QMJHL has, and the CHL has sweetie. It’s just going to get worse if the NHL comes to some kind of agreement this summer.”

Sidney sighed. “I guess you’re right.” He said. “But at least I get something back from Hockey Canada and the CHL and the Q. I don’t get anything from these people who want me to autograph a ton of stuff and then sell it on Ebay.”

“Well then, try thinking about it this way.” I told him. “These people are making a buck off your name, but the people buying the stuff you’ve signed are probably big fans who live too far away to see you play. So they are going to treasure that stuff just as much as the people who get to meet you and ask you personally for your signature.”

“Thanks baby.” Sidney said softly. “I knew that you’d be able to make me feel better about it. You always make me feel better about everything.”

“You do a pretty good job of making me feel better too sweetie.” I told him. “And just think, only one more to go and then you and I will get to see each other.”

“I can’t wait for that.” Sidney said, emotion evident in his every word.

“Neither can I.” I told him. “But I can’t lie. I’m more anxious to have you come see me here.”

“Am I going to stay with you?” He asked. “Or do I have to stay with Neufy?”

“D’s pretty much living with me right now.” I told him. “Almost all of his stuff is in my guest bedroom, so I don’t see how there could be a problem for anyone, if you stay here on the couch.”

“Not in your bed?” Sidney teased me.

“Not until you’re out of high school and 18 years old honey.” I replied. “I’ve got rules about who can share my bed you know.”

Sidney snorted. “They aren’t very strict then.” He said. “Don’t forget, I talked to one of the guys you allowed to share your bed, and damn Drew. You could do way, way better baby.”

“Is that your way of telling me that you’re way, way better?” I asked, with a smile.

“Pretty much yeah.” Sidney replied, and I knew that he was smiling.

I glanced at the clock. It was nearly ten now, which meant that it was nearly one out in Halifax. “We should both go to bed though sweetie. Alone I hope.”

“Only if you go to bed alone.” Sidney replied.

“I swear there is no one else in this apartment, though I cannot promise that Dion will not crawl drunkenly into my bed because Coly’s in his.” I told him with a smile.

“Well I suppose that I’ll have to put up with that.” He grumbled. “But I can’t promise that a gorgeous brunette isn’t going to crawl into mine at some point.”

I burst out laughing. “Well tell Taylor that I say hi.” I told him knowingly. “Now I’m going to go to bed sweetie, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow night.”

Part 6 - Nobody's Perfect

Monday afternoon, Dion and I were once again huddled around my computer screen. Rimouski was up on Halifax two games to none, but that didn’t mean that D and I weren’t anxiously awaiting the start of the third game of the President’s Trophy QMJHL final series.

Dion has always said that Game 3 is the turning point in a series. Either team can grab the momentum and swing the series in their favour in the third game. D, Fraz and I were hoping that it would be Rimouski.

The last thing any of us wanted was for the Nics to lose. D and Fraz had played with Sidney in Grand Forks and they genuinely liked him. They had also played with Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Patrick Coulombe, part of Rimouski’s “Big 5” at the summer evaluation camp in Banff.

Plus, I would have killed them both if they were cheering for Halifax. I mean, that was my boy wearing number 87 for the Nics. There was no way that I could have my Rebels for Life brothers cheering against him.

“Fuck….” I muttered, watching as Fraz and D both cracked open a bottle of beer. “How the hell can you guys drink after Saturday?” I muttered. “I still feel like crap.”

D shrugged and grinned mockingly. “Drew, it’s really quite simple. You are old.” He teased me. “And we aren’t.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “I am so not that old Phaneuf. I can still skate circles around you.”

“Not with a stick in your hand.” Fraz pointed out with a grin.

“I can stick handle just fine.” I told him with a self-satisfied wicked grin. “We just aren’t talking about the same kind of stick right now Coly.”

D and Fraz both burst out laughing. “Well the way Aaron tells it, you’re a cold hearted bitch who left him with a serious case of blue balls on Sunday morning…. just so that you could answer your cell phone.”

I shrugged. “Sidney called.” I told them, not that it was really any of their business. Though as always, Aaron had decided to make what was only our business, everyone’s business. “I answered the phone. Aaron decided to be an ass, so I booted him out of my place.”

D burst out laughing and kept on laughing until he was laughing so hard that he was crying and Fraz wasn’t much better. “You really answered your phone during sex?” D asked incredulously, gasping for breath as he tried (unsuccessfully) to stop laughing. “You really stopped what you were doing for the phone?”

“It wasn’t sex yet.” I said petulantly, feeling somewhat attacked. “We were just making out when the phone rang, and I saw a Rimouski number. I figured it was probably Sidney…. I mean who else in Rimouski do I know? So I answered it. I figured that he wouldn’t call me at like, five thirty in the morning unless it was something important.”

D laughed even harder if that was possible, wiping tears off his cheeks. “Drew you are something else honey.” He said, giving me a one armed hug around the shoulders. “Aaron is a fucking asshole.” He said. “Everyone, you included, know that… or they should.”

I shrugged. “The sex is decent and the head is great.” I paused, remembering just how good it was, and grinned. “Actually, the head is like, phenomenal.”

Fraz laughed. “You need to get more then Drew.”

D chuckled too. “And I don’t think Sidney would like you using his nickname to describe the head you get from someone else.”

I stuck my tongue out at Fraz and ignored D entirely. “I get plenty Fraz. Just because I don’t get as much as your man-whore self does Coly, doesn’t mean that I don’t get plenty.”

Coly snorted. “Yeah right….” He said. “This from the woman who will give up sex to answer the phone.”

I shrugged. “Like I’ve said, the sex was okay and I’d already gotten the head.”

D and Coly burst out laughing. “Well when you put it that way Drew….” Fraz said. “I guess it makes sense.”

“Damn straight it makes sense.” I replied firmly with a grin of my own.

“Well whatever you do Drew….” Dion said in that big brotherly tone of his. “Don’t fuck Aaron again. You’re better than that.”

I shrugged. “I know, but he’s easy.” I said plaintively.

Coly chuckled. “Neufy it’s not like either of us have never used that particular line when we’re talking sex.”

I shrugged again. “The best sex is sometimes easy sex.” I reminded them both, just in case either of them had forgotten. “Easy sex is especially nice since I’m feeling particularly lazy right now.”

Dion rolled his eyes. “Umm Drew, I hate to be the one to drag your attention back to the game and all, but your boy toy just scored on the power play.”

I flipped my hair over my shoulder, and didn’t bother looking at the screen. “I’m not a complete idiot D.” I said. “Give the helpers to MAP and Dany R.”

MAP, just in case you care, is what I typically call Marc-Antoine Pouliot. D glowered at me. “You’re right.” He muttered, somewhat petulantly, since he really didn’t think I was paying any attention to the game at all.

I shrugged. “I’m always right. You should have figured that out already.”

D shrugged. “I try to ignore it most of the time.” He said.

I stuck my tongue out at him as Sidney scored his second of the game and thirteenth of the playoffs. “Way to go Sid!” I cried at the screen.

The guys and I continued to banter back and forth throughout the rest of the first period. Mark Tobin and Junior (Mario Scalzo Jr.) added goals, and by the end of the first period, the Nics were leading the game 4-0. Troy called me quickly between the periods to make sure that I knew the score and was watching the game, and I told him to tell Sidney to call me when the game was done.

He promised he would and Coly and D continued to drink and they continued to make fun of me for the whole Aaron thing and the fact that I wasn’t drinking. It was all fun and games until three minutes into the second period when Halifax scored their first goal of the game on the power play.

I swore, loudly. Rimouski didn’t have their usual huge cushion. The last thing that they needed was Halifax mounting a comeback. Especially since the goal seemed to reenergize the Mooseheads fans. “Calm down Drew.” D said. “It’s only one goal.”

D’s words seemed to be prophetic. They seemed that way particularly when after the two teams went nearly nine minutes without a goal, Junior scored his second goal of the night for Rimouski. The Nics now had a 5-1 lead and the crowd really seemed to be out of it now.

In fact, a lot of the fans seemed to be cheering for Sidney at that point. He was a Cole Harbour boy, and I knew that he had a lot of family and friends in the stands. I wished that I was there with him more than anything as I watched him glide effortlessly across the ice.

I loved watching him skate. It wasn’t easy watching on the computer, because the picture wasn’t that great, but that didn’t really matter. I was watching him play again, and that was something I had missed since I’d come home from Grand Forks.

Less than a minute after Junior scored, one of the Mooseheads scored, to make the score 5-2. D and Coly continued to tease me about staying calm, and I tried. Believe me I tried. But with less than two minutes to go in the period the Mooseheads got there third of the period, and the score was now 5-3.

“Are they going to blow this fucking lead?” I muttered angrily.

D shrugged. “They were pretty badly outshot in that period Drew. If they don’t pick it up in the third, they might blow the lead. Unless they start blocking shots or Cèdrick stands on his head.”

“Mother fucker better stand on his head.” I grumbled. “They give him a five goal lead, his job is to keep the fucking puck out of the goddamned net.”

Coly laughed at me. “Drew, you do realize that his defense is not helping him at all right?”

I just kept grumbling. I continued grumbling in the third period when the Mooseheads came out strong, clearly determined not to lose this game. At the beginning of the period they outshot the Nics and I was yelling (rather loudly) at the screen. My boys were NOT going to lose this game. I was absolutely determined on that count.

Not that I could really do much to help with that. I mean, I wasn’t there, I couldn’t get on the ice and help them. But that didn’t mean that I wasn’t still yelling at them, because I totally was. Usually D and Coly would just be teasing me about it, but when the Mooseheads Jan Steber scored at the eight minute mark, they started yelling just as loudly as I was.

When the buzzer rang to end the game I muttered in relief. “Thank fricking god… one to go.”
D and Coly laughed at me and Coly pounded back his beer. “So what are we doing tonight?” He asked.

I raised my eyebrows. D had pretty much taken up permanent residence in my guest bedroom since the season ended, so doing something tonight either involved me being a DD, a party at my place, or them coming back to my place at an odd hour loud and drunk. “I don’t know about you two, but I have to work in the morning, so I’m going to watch some TV and go to bed.”

“And talk to your boy toy.” D teased me.

“We’ll crash at my billets Drew.” Coly said. “So no worries there honey.”

I hugged them both. “Well you two go have fun and don’t break too many hearts.” I told them.

D rolled his eyes. “See you tomorrow night Drew. One more and you and I are off to London.”