I think I felt my heart skip a beat
I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe
You got me yeah, you got me
The way you take my hand is just so sweet
And that crooked smile of yours
It knocks me off my feet
I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe
You got me yeah, you got me
The way you take my hand is just so sweet
And that crooked smile of yours
It knocks me off my feet
One look from you, I know you understand
This mess we're in, you know is just so out of hand
I hope we always feel this way
I know we will
And in my heart I know that you'll always stay
This mess we're in, you know is just so out of hand
I hope we always feel this way
I know we will
And in my heart I know that you'll always stay
(lyrics from “You Got Me” by Colbie Callait)
“Who says a woman can’t propose? Who says it always has to be the man? Where in the hell is that written and what ignorant misogynistic bastard thought that shit up?” Looking into my band mate’s reflection in the mirror as I finish drawing on my eyeliner, I see Duncan smirk and roll his green eyes.
“I dunna think that it’s a plot,” he laughs, the dimples that make all the girls scream for him deepening as he laughs at me. “It’s just the way it is, is all. There are just some things that a lad should do and a lass shouldn’t do,” he adds with a raise of his eyebrow when I frown at him in the mirror.
“You’re just saying that because you’re a bloody great eejit of a man,” I bare my teeth at him in the mirror as I use one of his favourite expressions from the old country, his old country.
“Kensey, darlin’, I’m sayin’ it because I don’t think you should be tyin’ yourself to anyone, not now. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re on a fuckin’ roll and your T & A is what puts food on our plates so...,” his hand raises my feet off the floor as he smacks my ass.
“Hey, hands off the merchandise Dunc.” I look up at the refection of the tall, pale and hunky ginger that’s just walked into the room and a huge grin spreads across my face.
“Marky!” Spinning around I take two running steps and jump into the muscular arms of the man in the simple white t-shirt, jeans and a blue windbreaker. “When did you get here?”
“Coach took pity on me,” he grins back at me and then presses his lips gently over mine before putting me back down on my feet. “And I told you I wouldn’t miss the concert. How often does my girlfriend play the Hard Rock?” Is it stupid, after months of dating the guy, to still get giddy when he calls me that?
“Staalsy, my man, you know we love you but you’re doin’ nothin’ for Kensey’s rep,” Duncan grins, punching Marc’s shoulder and then holding his hand out. My men shake hands and laugh. “She’s supposed to be a rocker queen but when you’re around me laddo...not so much, you know what I mean?”
“She looks like one to me,” Marc growls in his deep sexy voice, eyeing my purple and black lace corset and skin tight black vinyl pants, both of which leave little to the imagination.
“Lordy, I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone. You’ve got ten minutes Kens, don’t make us late darlin’,” Duncan lays a brotherly kiss on the top of my head and then slides past Marc and out the door and into the gloomy underground hallway. I wait until the door swings closed and then I let myself melt into the arms of the tall, solidly built red haired defenseman for the New York Rangers.
“I’m glad you could come,” I whisper against his mouth.
“I’ll remind you of that later when Avery’s had a few and starts hitting on you again,” he replies with the same easy grin that he and all of his handsome brothers share.
“No problem, I’ll step on him with these,” I reply, kicking up one of my boots with its platform sole and six inch heel, “somewhere it’ll hurt. No, somewhere it’ll leave a scar,” I add with a wicked grin. Even with the inch platform and the stiletto heel, I’m nowhere near his six foot four height.
“The guys will appreciate it,” he chuckles as he takes me by my shoulders and plants a longer but still soft kiss on my lips, a kiss that makes me go to my tiptoes to try and press my lips harder to his, wanting more despite the fact that we don’t have time for that. As he always is, Marc takes the responsible route and breaks off the kiss before it gets to the point of no return.
“Thanks for coming,” I whisper against his mouth.
“Your cd release party? You really think I would miss it?” he asks, his hands sliding up to cup my face. I shake my head, as much as I can with him holding my face in his big hands with their long fingers. “Glad to hear it. Now I’m supposed to tell you to break a leg or something like that,” he adds, stroking my cheek with the knuckle of his forefinger.
“I think that’s for actors. We rockers prefer the whole knock ‘em dead thing,” I tell him and that big easy grin of his is back that goes all the way up and lights up his blue eyes.
“Isn’t that what you tell me before a game?” he asks, letting me go back to my make up table to reapply the bright red lipstick necessary for the stage.
“Mmm and didn’t you just,” I sigh, feeling all warm and tingly at the thought of the hit on Matt Stajan that’s had Marc worried for days about a call from the league. “I had to change my panties after that.”
“You’re so blood thirsty,” he says, shaking his head as he meets my gaze in the mirror. “I’ve always sais you would make a great enforcer.”
“I thought you were gonna say that I’d make a great replacement for Avery,” I shudder at the thought and we both laugh. No one likes his trouble maker teammate, surprisingly his teammates least of all.
“Believe me, I’d never do that,” he replies with his own shudder. “Though I’m pretty sure you’d look better in his uniform than he does.”
“I look better in anything than he does babe,” I grin, turning around and stalking toward where he’s standing, leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets and the expression he’s wearing tells me he isn’t imagining me in shoulder pads and an oversized jersey.
“No argument here Kens,” he replies with a sigh. We don’t get much time together lately and what little we do is mostly spent in between the sheets with nothing on at all. I know how he feels as he gives me that half assed grin that says he is happy to see me but he’d be happier if we could just be alone and if we had more time. He’s a good guy, but he’s a stay at home kind of guy, happier to curl up under a blanket and watch re-runs of Friends than he is to be at a club. It makes my heart swell that much more knowing that he is here for me, that he’s proud of me.
“Two hours,” I promise, pressing my hands flat to the solid width of his chest. It feels like a big solid oak door that can’t be knocked down; my big, sturdy man. “Two hours and I won’t be Kensey Thunder, I’ll just be Kensey Connor from Thunder Bay again.” He nods and without removing his hands from his pockets, like he doesn’t quite trust himself not to mess up my hair and make-up, he kisses my forehead as I lean into him.
“Knock, knock.” With a groan I nod at Marc and he reaches over to push open the door to reveal Daze, our drummer, twirling her sticks impatiently. “I hate to break up the party but I’ve got to steal your woman back for a while. Y’know, concert, people expecting us. It’s a drag, but watcha gonna do?” Marc laughs as he accepts a hug from the woman he’s known as long as he’s known me, seemingly unconcerned about all the safety pins, buckles and spikes that seem to be sticking out of her ripped black t-shirt with its not the girl you bring home to mommy caption and from the two belts slung over her hips. “Hey Staalsy, I caught a glimpse of your little bro out there, still hobbled and grumpy as a bear with a bee sting.”
“He’s getting better,” Marc admits though everyone will be happier when he’s back on the ice and playing, and I mean everyone. “So, okay, kill ‘em out there and I’ll see you,” he says pointing at me and winking, “later.” I grin and watch him turn to go. I don’t like him going but I like watching him go.
“Don’t do it girl.” I turn to Daisy, with her auburn pig tails, jade green eyes and splash of freckles across her nose and cheeks that make her look, to me, like a farm girl from Thunder Bay and not like the punk rock queen that the barbell through her eyebrow, silver look through her bottom lip and the spiked dog collar she’s currently wearing around her neck would suggest. “Oh I know how long you waited for that boy to grow a pair and step up to the plate and admit that he loves you but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t do it Kens.”
“But the timing is so perfect,” I push the door closed and lower my voice. It won’t be much of a surprise if this gets outside of this room. “I mean, he’s probably just been waiting for us to get here you know? He’s been doing his thing and now that he’s past his rookie contract and we’ve finally got the album out, it’s the perfect time but he’s probably thinking that he should wait until we get back from the tour and I don’t need to wait,” I lean into the mirror to check my lipstick and eyeliner one more time while Daze stares at me, her arms crossed in front of her so that her drumsticks look a bit like the Egyptian Crook and Flail, which to her they kind of are.
“I know you love him Kens. I don’t think anyone knows how much except maybe me.” She doesn’t have to remind me that she’s been my closest friend and confidante since we were still running around in cut off shorts and braces, tagging around after the Staal and Pyatt brothers like the couple of tomboys we were and Daze still is. “But if he’s not ready...,” her voice falls away as I turn, eyes wide in horror at the very idea that Marc Staal, the love of my life, would not want to marry me. “I’m not saying he doesn’t love you Kens,” she adds, holding her hands up, her thumb and forefinger still clutching her sticks while she begs for not to stab her with the eyeliner pencil I’m holding. “I’m just saying, guys have this ego thing and he might not appreciate you cornering him like that. I’m only saying it because I don’t want you to get your feelings hurt.”
“You look like an idiot.” I ignore Gronk’s remark and go back to looking at...no drooling over the Thunder Daze program. So I bought a t-shirt and a poster and a cd and a program, so what?
“I’m a fan,” I explain, gazing down at the centerfold of Kensey Thunder in all her Goth girl black leather halter top and skin tight shiny black pants, her electric blue eyes staring out from beneath a perfect line of thick black bangs looking so incongruous with the rest of the pale skin and black clothes and hair but there’s something about those eyes that call to me....
“I thought you only listened to trance music,” Sid reaches for the program but I smack his hand away.
“If you wanted one you should have bought one,” I growl, not needing to look up to know that the guys are all rolling their eyes at me. “And I like some of their stuff.”
“You mean you like looking at the singer,” TK laughs and earns a raspberry from me. I can’t really argue the point. Kensey Thunder pictures adorn the inside of my locker at the rink, are the wallpaper and screensaver on my laptop and phone and yes, like a teenager, I have a poster of her and the drummer, Daze Stormer on my bedroom wall. So sue me. They’re hot.
“Don’t tease Max, it’s like poking a pit bull with a stick,” Tanger pipes up and I would be grateful for his intervention except that he’s been intervening in my life a lot too much lately. I haven’t forgiven him for stealing my girlfriend yet and he knows it which is why he doesn’t look over at me when I look up. His gaze is trained on the dark, empty stage. He’s probably missing Becky right now and I’m glad. I know it’s not nice, but neither is stealing your best friend’s girlfriend.
“What does Lucy think about this whole crush?” Sid asks, checking his phone for the umpteenth time. His wife, Tabby, isn’t due for another eight weeks but I know he worries about leaving her at home with their twins when she’s as big as a house, even with the live-in nanny he finally talked her into hiring.
“I’ve taken her on, like, two dates mon ami. It’s not like we’re exclusive.” That and though I like her and she’s fun, the red-headed spark plug of a nurse works weird hours which makes seeing her on our schedule next to impossible. That and I can hardly get a word in edgewise. “Oh man,” I flip the page to an even sexier pose with Kensey and Daze in a pair of matching skin tight black shiny cat suits and high heels. This one is so going up in my bedroom. “Have I thanked you for scoring us these tickets Gronk?”
“Yeah, about that, there’s something you should know.” Jordy coughs and looks uncomfortably towards stage door as it opens. I follow his gaze hopefully only to see his immediately older brother and defenseman for the Rangers emerging. Jordy waves at him to show him where we are and he nods. “I know I told you I know them,” Jordan adds more quietly, tapping the picture of the two sex kittens before I smack his hand away, “but what I didn’t tell you is that she,” he adds, pointing at the dark haired siren who is looking back at me from the page with her unnaturally bright blue eyes, “is dating my brother.”
“What? No....Fuck off.” It’s not that I was really thinking I had some kind of chance with the woman I discovered when I saw their video on MTV one night when we were stuck in a hotel room in Toronto because of snow, but.... “No, fuck off, you’re just saying that.”
“I’m not Max, sorry. If I’d known you were gonna drool all over the place like this, I’d have saved you the heartbreak. I even kinda thought you were kidding when you asked if I could get the tickets.” By this time his red headed brother has joined us and if he wasn’t so fucking big and if I didn’t think Jordy would jump to his defence and not mine, I sort of feel like I’d ask him to fight.
“You...you date her?” I stammer, holding up the centerfold towards the lantern jawed defenseman and he smiles and nods, and not like he’s trying to rub it in but just like it’s a fact.
“We’ve all known each other since we were making mud pies and scraping our knees and stuff,” Jordy tries to explain but I just make a face at him and shut the program, tossing it into the bag and dropping that and the poster under my seat before dragging the concert t-shirt off, leaving in me in the shirt I came in.
“Aww...look at him,” TK laughs and makes a grab for my cheeks. Only the warning glare I shoot his direction stops him from doing something that would probably get his hands broke. “He’s heartbroken.”
“I am not,” I snap, crossing my arms in front of my chest and glaring at my feet.
“If it’s any consolation, I could probably get you in there with Daisy,” Marc’s low voice rumbles over the noise as it grows when the lights begin to go down.
“Daisy?” TK asks so I don’t have to which is good because I’m telling myself I’m going to hate the concert, that I’m not even going to watch it now.
“Daisy’s her real name. We always called her Daze or dazed and confused, it kinda stuck. She’s kind of an animal in the sack,” Jordan adds in a hoarse whisper into my ear. “If that would help at all.”
“Oh good, more sloppy fucking seconds, no thanks,” I snap, kicking the table leg and telling myself that the next time I get a chance at our big blonde forward during practice that I should break a stick over his stupid head.
“Ladies and gentleman, for their first time touring in the USA in support of their first major release, please join me in welcoming to the stage, Thunder Daze!!”
“You guys have been great tonight!” I yell as the crowd screams and claps for our second to last song. “We’re going to do our last song now, but before we do,” I glance back at Daze and she shakes her head but I just smile at her and turn back to the crowd, scanning for the tall brothers I’ve known most of my life. Marc’s stature, broad shoulders and red hair isn’t hard to pick out, even in a crowd. “I want to thank some of our friends for coming tonight, especially mine and Daze’s good friends the Staal brothers. Some of you New Yorkers might know Marc as one of the d-men for your New York Rangers.” Some of the crowd howls in response. Not as many as would do if we were closer to home, north of the border. “We’ve been friends a long time,” I say, by way of explanation but mostly to him directly. “He’s been a huge supporter of ours...of mine and I know we’re all grateful but....” Duncan puts his hand on my shoulder and I know if I turn around he’ll be wearing the same concerned expression Daze is so I don’t. “Marc...I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for you,” I blow him a kiss but predictably Jordan reaches out in front of Marc’s face and catches it, the rest of the guys around them laughing as Marc shakes his head at his younger sibling. “I’m glad we’ve...figured things out over the last few months,” I continue and wish that I could read his expression from here. I can see him, see him standing there with his arms crossed across his broad chest, but I can’t read his handsome face. “I love you Marc and there’s a long tradition of stubborn Irish women doing this so...here goes.... Marc Staal, will you marry me?”
I feel my smile fade as he just stands there and does nothing.
At first I tell myself that he must have nodded and I just missed it but then I see Jordan turn to him and then the other guys turn to him too and then...and then he turns and shimmies his way through the crowd and disappears back towards the bar.
“No,” I whisper, the mic in my fist down at my side doesn’t pick up my voice. “You’re going the wrong way.”
“I think that’s a no,” Jonny T, our bassist whispers in my ear, his hand on my shoulder. I want to brush his hand off, want to tell him he’s wrong, but the evidence before me is just a little too overwhelming for that, plus I’m sort of rooted to the spot.
“We’ve got to do the last song Kens.” Duncan’s Irish drawl in my ear makes me turn to him and nod, once, though I can hardly see him through my tears. His roguishly handsome features blur before me but I can tell, just, that he’s wearing a supportive if pitiable smile.
“I can’t believe he just left like that!” Jordan’s gone after him, leaving us to find our own way backstage, without him, without his pass and without his introductions. Not that we need a pass, not with Sidney Crosby leading the way. The guy’s like a living billboard. He’s like fucking Moses parting the red sea. The security just lets us past, no questions asked, no hassle. We just keep going past groupies and record execs and finally find ourselves in a little room with a couple of beat up looking sofas with the band in them, all grouped around their lead singer who is sitting there looking tiny despite her platform heels, with her head between her knees.
She looks up at us when we come in, scanning our faces with hope glittering in her eyes despite the racoon like mess mascara and eyeliner have made of her face. It kills me when she doesn’t find either Staal brother among our group.
“Asshole,” she breathes and drops her head between her knees again.
Asshole is right. Anyone that could turn that down must be an asshole. Giant or not, when we play the Rangers next I am running him into a stanchion, head first.
“I guess this is a bad time to ask for an autograph,” I hiss at TK who laughs and then just walks by me to introduce himself to the hot short wearing drummer whose nickname is part of the group’s moniker. Her eyes go a little wide when she looks up at him, but then I realize she’s not looking so much at him as all of us. It happens. We’re kind of important like that.
“Asshole!” Kensey snarls again but this time she wipes at her cheeks with the back of her arm and then reaches for the bottle of Jack Daniels that’s in the guitarist’s hand. He lets her have it and she puts the bottle to her mouth and tips her head back, chugging the whiskey like it’s bottled water. Impressive. “Fucking asshole!” she says again as she wipes her mouth and then gets to her feet and stamps over to the makeshift bar in the corner which is mostly made up of bottles of hard core shit like vodka, rum and scotch. She picks out a bottle of Jäggermeister, twists off the top and just downs it, like it’s a shot.
“Wow, she’s gonna be sorry in the morning,” Sid says, taking a step back like maybe he’s afraid her abandoned behaviour might be viral, and they call Toews Captain Serious.
“I told you she was my kinda chick,” I grin and head for the table, grabbing a bottle of Sundrop and a bottle of vodka. She eyes me speculatively and if I thought those crazy blue eyes of hers’ were mesmerizing in a photograph, it’s nothing like being this close to her. “You’re beautiful.” It just comes out, like I have no fucking edit button. I blame Becky and Tanger but then if I really do you would think I wouldn’t get this close to another woman so soon after having my heart stomped all over.
Is it my fault if I just love women that much?
“You’re Max,” she says, pointing what’s left in the bottle of Jagger at me and narrowing her eyes. “I like the handlebar,” she adds, tipping her head to one side so all of that jet black hair falls over her shoulder. “You should keep it.” I make a mental note not to shave at the end of the month when the other guys shave off the moustaches they’ve been growing in support of finding a cure for testicular cancer or whatever. “I don’t like the hat though,” she adds, making a grab for the newsboy I’ve been sporting lately. I let her take it, but then, I’d pretty much let her do anything. “Nah, that’s better,” she says, putting the hat on her own head and then reaching to run her fingers through my hair. She smiles. Fuck me she has a pretty smile. “You’re cute.”
“I think you’re a little drunk,” I tell her, because it’s the right thing to do. She grins and laughs and then tips the remainder of the Jagger into her mouth. I watch her red lips close around the neck of the bottle and shift uncomfortably from one foot to the other. I’ve dreamed about those red lips closing around....
“I’m drunk, you’re cute and my boyfriend left,” she slurs, dropping the bottle to the ground at our feet where it smashes into about a million pieces. She looks down at it and then back up at me with a satisfied smile. “I guess that means no, huh?” she adds with a hiccup and then an adorable giggle.
“Kens...come away with you. We’ll go back to the hotel, I’m sure Marc will be there. There’ll be some explanation luv. Now come away.” She turns and looks at her guitar player like she’s never seen him before and then tips her head to the other side.
“You told me not to. I should’ve listened to you Duncky old boy,” she grins and then throws her arms around his neck. He looks at me over her shoulder as he pats her back and says something soothing in what I can only guess is Gaelic or is it Celtic. Hell, how should I know, I’m Francophone.
“Like I said luv, I’m sure there will be some explanation. Let’s just get you to the hotel and we’ll figure it all out eh?” He peels her off of him like a child and she stares up at him sullenly and then, more suddenly than you’d expect someone who is so obviously off their head as she is, she turns and puts her arms around me.
“I like you. You take me back to the hotel.”
Blessing or curse, being drunk for me is something like what I can only imagine it’s like to be Stephen Hawking. It’s like looking out of a pair of eyes of a body that I have no control over. I can’t make her stop getting into the taxi or when the door to the taxi closes, I can’t stop her from climbing onto Max Talbot’s lap and planting my mouth over his.
I can’t stop myself from kissing him, from wrapping my tongue around his or grinding my ass into his growing erection. I can tell myself this is wrong and stupid and a number of other things that should make me stop what I’m doing, but I can’t actually make myself stop.
Part of me hopes he’ll be a good guy, do the right thing, get me to the hotel and put me in the care of some bellhop or something, but he doesn’t. Not that I can blame him. When he presses me to the wall of the elevator and grinds his erection into my stomach, I can tell he isn’t exactly one hundred percent in charge of the choices he’s making either.
My brain practically screams at me as I pull his shirt out of his pants and tug it over his head. My brain tells me to stop, that I’m making a big fucking mistake that I may not be able to fix later, but my body keeps on doing it. My lips close around his nipple and suck hard, until he squirms and grabs my hair and pulls my head up so that he can kiss me while he grinds our pelvises together and we dry hump until the elevator doors open again, right in front of a bunch of what looks like college kids who laugh at the drunks as we stumble down the hallway to...is it my room? His?
His, obviously as he pulls a swipe card out of his wallet and puts it in the reader on the door and then drags, pushes, pulls me into the room, his hands on the stays of my corset, cursing as he tries to figure out how to get at my tits. Laughing, I pull the zipper down in the front while my brain tells me to stop that this is the point of no return.
His mouth, his lips and tongue are on my tits and then we’re falling onto the bed and my hands are down his pants and he’s groaning and I’m giggling like a fucking school kid and just for a moment, one brief moment of clarity this reminds me of the first time Marc and I did this, after he came back from his first Junior World Championships and how we were both giggling nervously as we took each other’s clothes off.
This is nothing like that. That took ages. This takes minutes, if that, before we’re both naked and I’m staring down at something that looks a lot bigger than what I’m used to. I tell myself it’s only because this Pens player is shorter, stocker than Marc, so it just looks different, but then he starts to push it inside of me and I know that all that stuff about noses and fingers and feet are just lies as I gasp out loud and squeeze my eyes shut against the feeling of being stretched beyond the point I’m used to.
But then it just feels good. No, not good, amazing. It feels so good that I want more, taking over, rolling him onto his back so I can control this. I want to feel my body envelop his. I want to make it last longer. I don’t want it to be over right away.
He doesn’t seem to mind. In fact he lies back on the bed and grins up at me, telling me how beautiful I look, how my skin glows. I think I tell him that I’m just sweaty but he shakes his head and runs his hands down over my breasts, down to my hips and tells me again that I’m beautiful and not just in English, but in French too. He calls me his belle fille, his belle femme. He says other things too, but I don’t know what they are, they just sound nice.
He fills me, lifting his pelvis up off of the bed as he drives his cock up into me and it feels so good that I don’t ever want to stop. I feel like I could do this all night but he has other ideas. I don’t know how but I end up with my hands spread against the floor to ceiling glass window with him behind me, his hands on my hips, driving into me while I beg him for more.
It doesn’t stop there either. The floor, the desk, doggy style on the bed, up against the wall....Marc has stamina but it’s never been like this.
“That’s it,” I sigh, staring at the poached egg on toast in front of me and wondering why I ordered it. “I woke up alone, the room was trashed and I was lying face down on the floor. I don’t know when she left...I don’t know how she left because she was fucked up,” I shrug, poking my fork into the egg and watching it gush all over the toast before pushing the plate away.
“I can’t believe she did that,” Jordan says quietly, staring into his oj. He’s white as a ghost and I wouldn’t even have told him if he hadn’t asked, but he did, and I know that I could have, maybe even should have lied, but for some reason I don’t feel sorry about what happened. “As far as I know Marc is the only guy she’s ever been with. No offense to you Max,” he adds with a half assed grin that doesn’t mean much, “but I think she probably would have done it with anyone, the mood she was in...I mean, from what you’ve said.”
“Oh yeah, je sais qu’elle me utilisiés but if I had to get used...that was the best night of my entire life,” I admit, still unable to wipe the smile off of my face that’s been plastered there since I woke up stiff, sore and feeling like my cock might fall off from having been over used.
“Ugh! No one wants to hear that,” TK groans, pulling my plate towards him. My stomach growls as he cuts into the now soggy bread. I’m starving, I just didn’t want that. I flag down the waitress as she passes with two pots of coffee in her hands.
“Pancakes, sausage, bacon...the works please.” She nods and heads off and I watch her go. Not because she’s cute, which she kind of is, but because her ass kind of reminds me off Kensey’s.
“You’ll have to do wind sprints to work that off,” Sid says in that disapproving tone he uses when he one of us is doing something he doesn’t like.
“Mon ami, I can’t think how many calories I already worked off, if you know what I mean,” I grin and mime doing it doggy style and spanking her ass. She liked that. She giggled every time I spanked her.
“Jesus Max...don’t...god,” Jordan shudders and then pushes his chair away from the table and stalks off. I watch him go and then laugh because even that can’t spoil my mood.
“Shit! What’s with Gronk?” I mutter as I grab at the plain piece of whole wheat toast on Sid’s plate.
I use my key, my hand shaking as I put it in the lock. I don’t know what’s going to meet me on the other side of this door, or if he’ll even be here. He could have gone to the hotel with Jordan, in which case he may have heard me screaming some other man’s name and he won’t be happy to see me, or maybe he’s been here, in his own place all night and he still won’t be happy to see me or....
“Finally. I wondered when you’d show up.”
He yawns and stretches his long arms and legs and then slowly gets to his feet from where he’s been obviously been stretched out on the sofa since last night. He’s still wearing the same clothes. I’ve at least gone back to my hotel room and changed.
I watch him slowly walking towards me, rubbing the sleep from his eyes before he wraps those long arms around me and pulls me into the warmth and the safety of his broad chest.
“I’m sorry,” I whimper, but don’t say more than that. If he doesn’t know, I don’t want to tell him, not if he’s going to forgive me for trying to ask him to marry me.
“No, I’m sorry,” he whispers, putting me at arms’ length and then smiling down at me, revealing his straight white teeth. “You just took me by surprise Kens and I wasn’t ready but...here.” He digs into the front pocket of his jeans and pulls out a small box.
Tears stream down my face as he opens it and pulls out a huge diamond ring, bigger even than the one his older brother Eric put on his wife Tanya’s finger. The band is platinum with even more diamonds on it and even in the dim light of his apartment with nothing but the half light of the early hours of the morning to light the room, the ring sparkles.
“I was going to ask you when we went away during the All Star break but, I guess you bet me to it,” he says, slipping the ring on my hand. “I’m sorry I was a jerk and stormed out on you. Forgive me?” he says in that dark amber honey tone of his and I just smile mutely up at him and nod.