Thank God that was real, was my first thought.
Oh shit I have to leave, was my second.
“Evie,” I whispered. “Evie.”
She nuzzled her face into my bicep, away from the thin curtains that did nothing to darken the room. The barest motion was enough to send my heart rate off the chart, zinging wildly through my body. I was sore in all the right places and they were all pressed to her bare skin.
“Baby, I have practice.” Distantly my brain registered the term of endearment, but I liked it.
“Hockey is cancelled,” she whined. “Canada is closed.”
I laughed as she dragged an arm free and rubbed her eyes. Then she peeked under the blanket. “You can’t go to practice, you’re naked.”
I should have left ten minutes ago, since I had to drive to Sewickley before coming back to the rink. But the Penguins were going to have to wait a damn minute today. I squeezed her in as tightly as I could and kissed her neck right up to her ear. She turned. “I threw your clothes out the window.”
I lifted my head. One leg of my pants was visible in the doorway, where I’d dropped them barely inside the door last night. “I can borrow some of yours.”
“I have sweatpants that say Bootylicious across the ass,” she offered. “It’s a long word, so they’re pretty big.” I rolled over until I had her pinned face down and put all my weight on her back. She groaned theatrically. Her cell phone rang in the distance.
“I’m totally late for work,” she said.
I let her up and she turned over, facing me. It was a compromising position to say the least. Her face turned serious as she rested her head, our lips less than an inch apart.
“What?” I asked. Please don’t… whatever. Please don’t take this away.
“Last night was awesome,” she said with a slow, teasing smile.
I exhaled deeply. “Imagine how good tonight is going to be.”
I sat on the couch, wrapped in the blanket and decided I didn’t care about being late for work. Sidney Crosby was naked in my hallway, walking in an out of where I could see, searching for his underwear.
“Did you hide them?” he asked, stopping in the door. Then he put one forearm against the frame, higher than his head, and leaned his entire naked self across the narrow space. He even crossed one foot over the other and just smirked at me.
I didn’t bother trying to close my mouth. He was wide and thick and smooth and I actually drooled as he popped the muscle in his outstretched bicep, strong enough to shift his whole body with the smallest movement.
“I wish I hid them,” I admitted. Then I pointed behind him, where my coat had been pushed up against the wall. He lifted it from the floor and found his shorts. As he stepped into them, bending that incredible ass right over in my line of sight, I whimpered like a sad puppy.
He threw my underwear over his shoulder.
When he was dressed he felt it was safe to come near again. I stood, dropped the blanket and earned myself a rueful smile. Now that we’d been together a lot of our pretense was gone. We wanted each other like crazy. I would never have imagined he would kiss me in front of a club full of people – not Sidney Crosby – but he’d gone right out there and made it count.
“Evie, I need to see you tonight.”
I unwrapped my bare arms from around his massive shoulders. “Hurry.”
“Ooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwowowowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” Jordan howled as I tried to sneak into the locker room unnoticed. So much for that. Instant applause broke out and I felt myself blush furiously.
“Well well, nice of you to join us,” Coach said. But he was smiling too. “She leave you any energy to work with today?”
I took the slap on the shoulder and the rest of the comments that rained down as I hurried to get my gear on. Geno congratulated me again and took all the credit for my empty net goal. Kris made a rude remark in French and Flower choked on his water. When they’d gotten over the initial hilarity of me actually getting laid, Max took a seat next to my locker.
“Good night?” he asked. For once the pervy Frenchman didn’t actually want the salacious details. Well, he did, but he actually wanted to know if things went my way.
“Incredible. Thanks bro.” I knew he’d done a lot last night to smooth the edges, to get Evie in and make sure I met her halfway. My inner Max-im monologue.
He smiled triumphantly. “Now bring her around again so we can all try to steal her.”
The boys got tired of chirping after a while and when practice was over I went home. It was barely noon and I was watching the clock, waiting for 5 PM. Or did she get off at 6? I had no idea, nor did I have any clue what I was going to do when I saw her again. Actually I had all kinds of ideas but I figured it would be rude to rip her clothes off in the foyer and then fake her death so I could have her to myself forever.
I laid down and tried to nap, tired from being up late and looking forward to over exerting myself again soon. But my mind wouldn’t shut up.
Despite kissing her in the club, I was still wary of taking her to anything too public. The risk was too big and I had to be sure she knew what she was getting herself into. Thank God I met her in Canada, I thought. At least she’ll have some sense of what my life is like. A nice dinner out would be tricky unless we drove to West Virgina, and sitting next to her in a dark movie theater and having to behave myself sounded like the worst kind of torture. I didn’t know what she liked, what she ate, where she hung out. Before two hours were up I had a stomach ache from worrying.
My phone beeped a text. She was still in my phone under her original name.
Wife: I have the apt to myself tonight.
Me: Not anymore.
Wife: 7 PM.
Wife: Just pack your PJs.
Guess that was sorted.
I’m not ashamed to say that zero work was accomplished that day. I seriously contemplated the logistics of putting mostly-naked Kris Letang in an American Eagle ad, but my mind kept replacing him with Sidney, and removing even those few items of clothing. Every time that image popped up I shifted in my seat, aware that I probably walked like I’d spent the weekend horseback riding.
I wanted to see him. I was crazy turned on by how much he wanted to see me again, and soon. He was trying to be cool but the urgency had been all over his face when he’d kissed me goodbye a hundred times before literally sprinting down the stairs. But I was nervous – we’d gotten away with one in the club; everyone was good and drunk before we did anything worth seeing. In a restaurant the whole world would look toward him. In a movie, I’d get us both arrested for lewd acts. What I really wanted was to build a fort out of blankets and hunker down for the winter. I waited as long as I could, in case he was making plans, but then I just had to act. I needed something to focus on before I levitated above my desk.
“Beth,” I said before she got out a greeting. “Can you stay out again tonight?”
She laughed loudly, probably disrupting the entire doctor’s office where she worked. “Why, do you have another date with your husband? Jeez, Evie you two were like rabbits last night – ten more minutes and I would have gotten the real show of the century.”
“I couldn’t help it! That almost went down in a club. And in a car. And on the fucking front stoop of our building! I just…,” I put my hand over my face. “Beth, what am I doing? That’s Sidney Crosby! This is… this is crazy.”
I had gone outside, into the cold air where I knew no one would be hanging around to hear me. I suddenly needed to sit down but there was no place to go.
“Hey, easy babe. You like him, right? I mean, as a person? He’s funny and dorky and smart and all that nonsense you were going on about when you got home?”
“So take a deep breath and just relax. He obviously likes you too. I mean, you went to the game and he’s all Sidney Crosby but that doesn’t mean he has to bring it home. When are you seeing him again?”
I heard her give herself, or her desk, a high-five. “Get it girl! Okay listen, I think you should have him over. I’ll vacate. Just hang out and hump each other on the kitchen table and pretend he’s not Hockey Jesus. Make sure he’s worth freaking out over before you start freaking out.”
“Okay,” I said, feeling a little better.
“And Evie, mop up afterward.”
I disconnected and sent Sid a message. If it’s possible to seem relieved via text, he did.
Closing time was still a ways off when I packed it up for the day. Every minute that ticked off was one more butterfly in my stomach. I stopped at the market for food then cleaned up the apartment while dinner cooked, keeping myself busy. In the ultimate gesture of feigned modesty, I changed the sheets on my bed.
At five minutes to seven, the buzzer rang. Sidney Crosby is ringing my doorbell, I thought. I beeped him, jumped up and down for five seconds and opened the door.
“Hey,” he said from the top of the stairs. He wore a dark blue v-neck sweater over a white t-shirt and jeans. His skin was so healthy it made me want to drink a glass of milk. Everything about him screamed vitality – not just his size or obvious strength, but the thickness of his hair and the whites of his eyes all seemed almost unnaturally perfect.
I stood stupidly in the doorway as he came down the short hall.
My footsteps echoed across the lobby of her building and it was the only thing that kept me from running up the stairs. I didn’t want her to hear me stumbling and tripping in a hurry to get to her. So when she opened the door as I was on the last flight, I made myself slow an extra measure. It was worth it for the view.
Evie wore jeans and a t-shirt like some girls wore lingerie. The tiny hole in the denim above the knee on her right leg made me want to kiss that exact spot on her body. A bright yellow vintage-looking top with “Jimmy Buffett” written across it in red letters hugged her like I planned to do. Her long dark hair fell forward over her shoulder and she looked surprised.
“Were you expecting someone else?” I asked. She was the perfect size and like Tetris I sped up as I got closer, wanting to fit right in there.
“You are…,” she stopped, blushing and just shook her head.
“No, you are.” I picked her up around the waist, feet off the floor and carried her inside. We were kissing before the door closed.
She was everything I remembered and a million things I’d added from my imagination. Her neck smelled faintly of vanilla. Best of all she kissed me like she’d been waiting all day to do it. Or maybe that was me. Ten seconds later we pulled away, panting. Then we both laughed. I was half-hard, she was trembling and it wasn’t even seven o’clock yet.
“I had a whole plan for being cool,” I told her, my arms still locked at her back.
She rubbed my earlobes between her fingers and smiled up at me. “I’m the cool one around here.”
The small kitchen was a mess of plates and cutting boards but it smelled divine. A big stock pot bubbled on the stove and another pan behind it popped and sizzled. There was no sign of a cookbook or recipe and every jar within arm’s reach was half-empty. Evie moved gracefully, reaching and turning like a little dance. She handed me plates and silver, then a corkscrew and a bottle of wine.
“I could have brought wine!” I said, but she just chased me away.
She carried out two bowls of salad and pulled her chair in close to mine. The table was square, so we faced each other and sat next to each other. I made a mental note to only ever buy square tables again. I raised my glass to her.
“Thanks for having me over.”
She clinked hers against mine. “I just needed someone to help me clean up after last night.”
The salad was warm greens with baked butternut squash. It sounded weird but tasted insane. I would gladly have eaten only that, but Evie brought out two more dished heaped with andouille sausage jambalaya, not too spicy, and I decided right then and there I was absolutely, definitely in love with her.
We ate quietly for a few minutes, the good food an excuse to cover that we still felt a little awkward together. Finally she drained her wine and proposed a game.
When I told myself I wanted him to lick my plate clean, I hadn’t been talking about dinner. But the appreciative noises and compliments about the food were charming my pants right off. Then he could be dessert and I could be the cherry.
“Let’s play Two Truths and a Lie,” I suggested. I wanted to know all about him, everything and anything, but I worried it would come off like an interview. And his interviews were deadly boring. This would make it fair, because I’d have to tell as much or as little as he did. “I’ll tell you three things about me. Two are true, you have to guess which one is a lie.”
Sidney leaned over the table, still eating, and nodded. I started off easy: I have a brother, a toboggan and a race horse. He guessed the race horse was a lie.
“Nope. My parents have a few horses, and one is a retired racehorse. His name is Surley Temple and if I were a drag queen, that’s definitely what I’d be called.” I pushed my finished plate away, proud of my dinner. “I’ll have to borrow your toboggan though.”
He went next: He could water ski, liked gummy bears and drank a half gallon of milk a day.
“There’s no way you eat gummy bears.” I guessed correctly.
It went on: I was the valedictorian of my high school class, he had never gone to the prom, I was left handed, he could never bite into a popsicle. Then he volunteered a surprising piece of information.
“I won a Stanley Cup, a Gold Medal and I had my first kiss when I was twelve.” The way his full lips formed the word ‘kiss’ made it hard to listen to what he said. But still the first two were obviously true.
“Lie, you weren’t twelve.” We were close together across the edge of the table. He moved his plate and put his hand on my arm. I’d had a single glass of wine but I didn’t need it to feel languid and dangerous.
“I was sixteen. Driving a car, never been kissed.” He didn’t look embarrassed, just honest like he thought it was a little funny.
“What was her name?”
“Sara McDonald. It wasn’t very memorable, she said after that she didn’t like me anymore.”
I took my thumb from my chin and ran it along his bottom lip. “What do you think she’s saying now?”
He kissed my finger, then me. It was a sweet kiss, our first kiss that didn’t involve groping and fumbling. But it melted my insides all the same. His mouth was soft against mine, the slight taste of brown sugar lingering from the salad. I traced along his strong jaw line.
“Sixteen, eh? You learned pretty quickly.”
“The more you practice, the better you get.”
We cleared the table and he insisted on washing the dishes. That gorgeous blue sweater went up over his giant forearms and I leaned against the counter, watching the little pink tip of his tongue wedged into the corner of his mouth as he scrubbed at the stock pot. Then I went around and just admired his body: broad shoulders tapering down into a narrow waist, that magnificent ass. Sidney looked over his shoulder but kept his comments to himself.
I felt like an idiot for having shown up empty-handed. Of course we’d be eating. I hadn’t even thought to ask if I could bring anything. But Evie really didn’t seem to care. The least I could do was clean up the mess. I didn’t want her thinking about it later when we were busy doing other things. She made me leave the dishes in the rack and dragged me into the living room to the couch where I’d fallen asleep naked just eighteen hours before. She kicked off her shoes and pulled me down next to her.
That’s what I’m talking about. My arm went around her shoulders and I lifted her knees, turning her body across mine as she flipped channels. When she stopped on some movie station showing The Rock, I leaned us both over until we were laying down, tangled together.
“Mmmm,” she murmured, snuggling into my chest. I kissed her temple and rested my face alongside hers. If I hadn’t seen the movie a hundred times I couldn’t have told you what it was about. I just felt her warmth and the curve of her hip, the weight of her leg thrown over mine. That hint of vanilla on her skin made me want to lick it and see if she tasted like frosting. My fingers cheated under the hem of her shirt, grazing the bare skin above her hip. I moved forward over the gentle rise in her abs, then circled her belly button. The muscles fluttered beneath my touch.
“Oh my God!” she rolled flat onto her back, face turned toward mine. “Pants off, now.” She squeezed her thigh between mine and pushed her whole self against my lap.
“You don’t want to watch the movie?” I tried to tease her but my hard-on was working its way up her leg.
“You’ve been moaning in my ear for the last ten minutes. Don’t try to tell me if was for Nicolas Cage.”
She pulled me up and I obediently followed to her bedroom. Nothing about the room had registered last night except that she was in it and I was in her. Now I saw that it was filled with her life. I wanted to open every book, examine every photo. But she was not having it.
“You are…,” she said, nipping my neck, “making me…,” she moved to my ear, “crazy.”
We stripped each other bare, kissing each new piece of exposed skin. Her breasts fit perfectly into the palms of my hands. She twisted my bottom lip between her teeth as her hands dipped into my pants. I got her down to her panties and she moved away, laying back on the bed and letting me look her over. Her long, strong legs were pale against the burgundy blanket, the dark patch of hair visible beneath the lace where they met. She wore those little bikini panties I loved: they made me think of campfires and the first snowflakes and breaking curfew to make out under the scoreboard at the rink. Of all the things I’d missed out on as a kid.
I put my knee down between hers, stretched myself out and lay on top of her perfect body. She caught my lips with a kiss so gentle it was almost chaste. We moved slowly. I tried to relax enough to touch her without coming immediately. She was ticklish on her sides, turning her head away to giggle like she didn’t want me to know. There were very faint freckles on her nose, a few more along the side of her neck. Her toenails were bright pink and I kissed her like I had all the time in the world.
Sidney had a scar under his chin, a little raised line beneath the tip of my finger. There was another in the hair just above his right ear. His eyes were ten shades of brown, like a bottle of maple syrup held up to the light. At the base of his spine, where one set of muscles ended and another began, was a little tiny hot spot. His breath caught as I brushed it and when I pressed harder he moaned softly.
“Baby,” he called me, for only the second time.
It felt like forever before his fingers closed on the only piece of clothing I had left. When those were gone, he settled himself back over me and looked right into my eyes as the head of his cock pressed against my pulsing slit.
Eyes open, I kissed him as he slid inside.
“Sidney,” I whispered. He kept going for miles until I felt his thighs come to mine. He was in to the hilt and perfectly still. I squeezed the back of his neck and stared up at him. “Go.”
There was nothing frantic. We’d been a circus act our first time but now this was something else. His strokes were deep and deliberate. His abs fluttered from six pack to far more as he worked to control the same urges I felt. I arched my back, leaning on my hips and meeting him with measured thrusts. Our faces stayed together; our eyes closed only to kiss. A tiny bead of sweat broke out on his forehead and ran onto his cheek as he worked. I flicked the salty spot with my tongue. The rhythm was perfect, it gave us both pleasure but allowed us to keep going, to stay in control a little longer and enjoy something more than sex.
Few things ends on their highest note, but I’d already learned that being with Sidney was like a cliffhanger every time: it was incredible, shocking, giving you exactly what you thought you wanted as it made you realize there was so, so much more. He watched me come, watched my eyes drop closed and my lip catch between my teeth as I bit down against the sensation tearing through me. Then he waited until I was done and spent before making sure that I saw the moment my body claimed victory over his. He groaned quietly, pressing his face to mine as his hips locked and rocked. Three times he shook, a tiny cry signaling the last wave had passed. Our kiss swallowed the sound of ragged breathing.
It was barely over and already I was desperate for more.