Chapter 28: Exhaustion

Still Sid's POV

I arrive in Nova Scotia, the next day and have a blast visiting my parents and what not. I have 2 more days before I have to go back to Pittsburgh and I've heard nothing from Caitlin so far. It's about 10:30 at night and I'm watching the post game analysis on the Habs game when my phone goes off.

"Hey, Sid it's me. Are you still in Nova Scotia?"Caitlin responds.

"Yeah, why?" I ask changing the channel.

"I just landed in Halifax, and I was wondering if the dogs and I could crash at your place tonight, I'm beat," She says sounding exhausted.

"Yeah, of course," I say immediately alert.

I proceed to give her directions and about 25 minutes later, I see head lights through my window. I open the door and she slowly walks in holding Flash, Bran and Hawkeye fallowing her from behind. They all look utterly exhausted.

"Hey, thanks for letting us stay here," she smiles weakly, her eyes red from lack of sleep.

"When is the last time you slept," I ask taking the sleeping Flash from her arms.

Her arms fall limply to her side, she sighs struggling to think.

"Umm... I don't know. We've been going almost 8 days straight. We'd get four hours of sleep here and there, but... I don't know I'm so tired," she yawns.

"Alright, you stay right here, I'll go take the dogs up to the room," I say walking up the steps with Flash in my arms, who is still asleep.

"Hawk, Bran, go with Sid," she yawns pointing to me.

Both dogs reluctantly leave her side and fallow me upstairs to my room, where I have found blankets for them to lay on. I run back down the stairs to find Caitlin leaning on the stair railing almost asleep.

"Come on you too," I say.

"No that's okay, I'll just sleep on the couch over there," she says starting to walk over to the living room.

"Nope come on," I respond lifting her up in my arms, she yawns, too tired to protest, and her head rests on my shoulder as I carry her up to my room.

"You don't have to give up your room for us," she smiles weakly.

"The guest room doesn't have a very good bed, you'll be more comfortable up here," I say making her stand, "aren't you going to get out of your clothes." I look at her from head to toe, she still has on a parka, and her jeans are dripping wet from the knee down.

"Sid, I don't have the energy to lift my arms at the moment," she says almost falling on the bed.

"Just stand still." I say getting close to her.

I pull down the zipper of her parka and toss it to the floor. I untie her boots and put them by her coat. Slowly I pull the zipper of her fleece vest down and it lands next to her parka. I gently unbutton her wet jeans and slide them down her curvy hips, she groans as my hand comes to her thigh were a large bruise is starting to form.

"What did you do?" I ask quietly, my voice husky with emotion as my hand brushes gently against it.

"I ran into a stay piece of wood, when I was snow boarding down a hill," she whispers.

My hands continue down her smooth strong legs, I can both feel and see the muscles quivering from over use. With her hands on my shoulders to support herself, she steps out of her jeans standing only in her cotton boy shorts. Her hair brushes the under side of my chin, sending me the scent of the cool outdoors. She sits on the bed, and I can feel her aching to lay down. I gently tug off her wool socks, before moving to her shirt. Slowly, I help her out of her long sleeve t-shirt.

"Ah, Sidney," She moans as I lift her arms to pull the shirt over her head. I look to her shoulder where another bruise is forming. My hands go under her white beater feeling her strong abs underneath. I slowly, pull it over her head, and she lets out a low moan. A bright red sports bra, I let remain, even though I ache to take it off. My hands travel up her arms and my eyes stop mid-way up her forearm. Across the inside of her arm, small, but noticeable, in green writing is the word,"Laidir".

"You have a tattoo?" I ask smiling.

Her eyes are closed and she nods her head, "Laidir" she says quietly, pronouncing it 'Lawjid.'

My eyes travel over her muscular body and sensual curves. I ache to kiss her, to feel her body naked against mine. Although I want to repeat that night we spent together 4 years ago, a night filled with hot steamy pleasure, I hold back (and it takes all my will power to do so), knowing that she can hardly sit up.

"What does that mean?" I whisper, allowing myself a small indulgence by gently pressing my lips to her bruised shoulder, before I help her lay down in the bed.

"Strong." she replies before drifting off to sleep as soon as her head hits the pillow. I pull off my own clothes and throw them in the pile with hers, so I'm just in my boxers. I go to the other side of the bed, and crawl in next to her, pulling her into me. She pillows her head on my shoulder and her hand rests against my chest as she moves her smooth leg to entwine with mine. I doubt she is conscious of what she is doing, the movements more a reflex. She lets out a small content sigh, before drifting off into a deep sleep. I wrap my arms around her and watch her sleep. Her dark lashes fanned out on high cheek bones, her long hair spread out on her shoulder, and her full lips ever so slightly pressed out. 'How did I ever let her go?' I think to myself.

Caitlin's POV

I wake up the next morning to Flash licking my face, trying to tell me he has to go out. I groan, and move slightly, finding myself laying against at very warm, very male body. My eyes shoot open in surprise, then it all comes back to me. Calling Sid, being so exhausted that he had to help me out of my clothes, but I didn't think he laid down next to me. I carefully untangle myself from him, so as not to wake him. I move to sit up, my muscles aching from the past week's intense physical activity. I slowly pull myself into a sitting position and swing my legs around to let my feet gently hit the floor. I slowly get up and groan as my muscles scream in protest. I hear the bed shift and Sid walks in front of me wearing only boxers.
"Go back to bed," he says pushing me gently so I will fall back into the bed, "I'll take them out."
I go to protest, but then think better of it. I pull the covers over me as I lay down, sleep quickly coming back to me.

I wake up again to find that the dogs are next to me in bed, not Sid. I look at the clock over on the table, it reads 12:43.
"Holy Cow, I must have been extremely tired," I get up to put my clothes on but realize they are soaking wet.
I whimper slightly as I try to walk, my muscles aching. I look in the mirror by the door and groan at the sight of a large purple bruise on my thigh, and one on my shoulder. I gingerly walk down the step to find Sid watching TV on the couch. He turns around as I hit the last step that squeaks a bit.
"Morning Sleeping Beauty."
"Hey, thanks for letting us crash here."
"No problem, you guys were exhausted, it was the least I could do. Do you need anything?" he says, his eyes traveling the length of my almost nude body.
"Ummm... clothes would be nice."
"Sure, those are some nasty bruises you have," he says walking over to me and brushing his fingers against my shoulder.
"Yeah, I know," I say in disgust.
"Come on we'll go find you some clothes," he says starting to go up the steps.
"Ugh, I have to go back up the stairs," I groan.
"Here I'll help," he says. He picks me up bridal style as if I weigh nothing. His forearm hitting the bruise on my thigh.
"Ah, Sid! Careful." I wince with a quick inhalation of breath.
"Sorry, are you ok?" he asks guilt in his gorgeous eyes.
"Yeah, I'm just really sore," I say.
"I can imagine. So when did you get the tattoo?" He asks caring me up the stairs.
"You saw that?"
"I got that about 4 years ago, a few months after vacation."
"I just needed a little reminder to keep strong," I shrug.
"Caitlin... I..." he starts, knowing that I'm talking about him.
"Nah, don't bother it's cool."
"So what language is that?"
"Gaelic. Some of my heritage is from Scotland and Ireland, so the language just kinda speaks to me."
"Aren't you Slovak and Russian too?"
"Not Russian, Ukrainian, and yeah. I'm also German, and my grandmother thinks I have a pinch of British in there too, but she's not positive."
"Wow, you're quite the mutt."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that."
"Alright, why don't you take a shower," he says pointing to the bathroom after putting me down. I open my mouth to protest but he beats me to it, holding up his hands, "Calm down, I'm not saying you stink. Actually you smell like the outdoors, so you smell pretty good. I just figured the hot water wouldn't hurt your muscles any."
"Okay, you're probably right," I smile heading into the bathroom.
I turn on the shower and sigh as the hot water relaxes my muscles. A little later, there is a knock on the door.
"Just me. I'll leave clothes on the sink and here is a towel," he says throwing a towel over the shower curtain.
"Thanks," I say turning off the shower and picking up the towel, "So where is Victoria?"
"Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting to tell you. We broke up."
"You what!" I say throwing the shower curtain open to look at him, the towel wrapped securely around me.
"We broke up. Actually I broke it off with her."
My heart drops into my stomach, and I dare not get my hopes up to much as to why. Maybe it was because she was having an affair.
"Oh, Sid, I'm so sorry. I know you probably loved her."
"No, I didn't. That's why I broke it off with her, we weren't meant for each other," He says looking into my eyes. It's then that I realize how close he is to me, he has me trapped against the sink. He is dangerously close, and I can smell his spicy male scent, which has clouded my brain. His hazel eyes connecting with my dark brown ones. It's getting very hot in here, and the steam from the shower doesn't help any. I quickly find myself wanting him, as he is standing so close to me, and I'm only covered with a towel.
"Caitlin, do you love me?" He asks not breaking eye contact with me, and taking a step closer so that I can't escape. His breath tickles my temple as he bends his head down, readying to kiss me. His eyes drowsy yet at the same time lusty and feverish as he glances down at my lips.
I inhale sharply and lick my lips, trying to find air to breath. I look in his Carmel eyes, should I tell him?

August 30, 2008 at Saturday, August 30, 2008 , 10 Comments

Chapter 27: Realization

Sid's POV

Victoria decides to stay with her mother for a few more days, giving me more time to think. On New Years Eve, I go to the airport to pick up Victoria. She sees me and comes running to me. She 's dressed in a blue silk blouse that is paired with a tight fitting leopard print skirt and blue stilettos that match her top, something not unusual for her everyday wear. Her blond hair is curled into relaxed waves, like all the celebrities and she has on bright red lipstick. She's extremely high fashioned and I see men drool as she walks by. She is so different compared to Caitlin, who is usually dressed in jean and a t shirt, paired with low heeled leather boots.

"Hey, babe," she says as she reaches me.

"Hey," I say back.

She twists my Reebok hat around, that had been helping to conceal my identity, waiting for me to kiss her. I cup her neck and run my thumb across her jaw line, but it's weighed down with makeup. I gently bring my lips to meet hers, I wait for the fireworks, but there are none, now that I think of it, there never has been any. She doesn't have the soft curves that make Caitlin fit into me perfectly, I realize as she presses into me. Her fingers don't play with the hair curling at the nape of my neck like Caitlin does. Her bleached blond hair is slightly weighed down by hair spray as my hand brushes through it, so unlike Caitlin's silky chestnut locks. Her fake eye lashes that are the same length as Caitlin's natural one's, and they don't fan out on her cheeks the way they do on Caitlin. She is a good kisser, but she's not like Caitlin who seems to have a natural talent for it. I break away, and look at her. She smiles at me, her light blue eyes don't meet mine, like Caitlin's dark chocolate brown ones do. She's just not Caitlin.

"Ready to go," I sigh, pulling the Reebok hat back down to my eyes.

"Of course, let's go," she giggles wiping a smudge of lip stick off my mouth.

The ride is by no means silent, like I would have hoped. Instead, she goes on about how she and her mom went shopping at the new mall and she bought, blah, blah, blah. I try to picture seeing her walk down the alter to me, laying in the hospital bed after giving birth to our baby, rounding up a house full of kids and dogs, being there with me through hockey wins and loses, watching our grandchildren open presents in our living room by a warm fire in the fireplace on Christmas day, growing old together.Then I realize that it's not her I'm picturing at all, it's Caitlin.

"Do you want to have kids?" I ask interrupting her.

"What?" she asked stunned.

"Do you want to have kids," I repeat looking at her.

"Ummm... I guess, maybe one, in a couple of years."she shrugs.

"Just one?" I frown.

"Of course, I don't want to run a zoo. One is more than enough," she giggles.

"Really ? 'Cause I was thinking more like 3 or 4."

"Oh, you must be joking. What would we do with all of them?"

"We'd be a family."

There is an awkward pause and then she says,

"How about we go home, so I can open your presents and then maybe we can go to that expensive french restaurant that I like."

"I have a game tonight."

"Sidney, I didn't get to spend Christmas with you and now we can't even spend tonight together," she pouts.

"Well, you could come to the game," I begin.

"No, that's okay." she says wrinkling her nose, "Can't you skip a game just this once? You can tell them you caught the flu."

"Victoria, I can't just skip a game! This is my job. You know, the thing that pays me so that you can buy all of your stuff," I yell.

"Fine," she pouts.

"Do you love me?"I ask.

"What?" she looks at me startled.

"Do you love me? You've never said it before."

"I... um..."

"Victoria, it's a simple yes or no question." I grumble.

"Of course, I love you," she says putting her hand on my arm. I pull the car over and turn to look at her.

"No you don't. You just love my wallet. God I should have seen this." I sigh.

"Is this about that puck bunny, Caitlin. I told you she would put all kinds of stupid ideas in your head. You should have never been friends with that whore, you hardly knew her for a day."

"Caitlin is not a whore or a puck bunny. If anyone is the puck bunny it's you. Caitlin and I met four years ago, I fell in love with her but I pushed her away because I thought she was someone like you. And then I lost her. I should have never pushed her away."I say closing my eyes and shaking my head. "I'm sorry I got you tangled up in all of this. But I don't love you, and we need to break up. I'm sorry. I'll take you back to the house and help you pack up, then I'll buy you a plane ticket to where ever you want." I continue, knowing that I have to be rid of her.

"I can't believe you're breaking up with me! Nobody ever breaks up with me! I should have known better than to leave Sean Avery for you."

Victoria demands that I take her back to the airport right away, and buy her a ticket to Dallas, my guess, she's going to plead Avery to take her back. After telling her I will send all her stuff to her mother in LA. She leaves but not before calling me and Caitlin a string of names. I just laugh it off and head back to my car. I call Army,

"Hey, Sid, what's up?"

"I'm free!" I sigh into the phone.

"You mean? Oh yeah! Way to go, man! The guys will be ecstatic to hear it. Hey, hon, Sid finally broke it off with Victoria," I hear him tell Sara.

"Wooo Hooo! I'll have to tell everyone that the puck bunny is gone. WAY TO GO SID!" I hear her yell.

"Alright, I'll see you at the game tonight, Army,"I laugh.

"Okay, see you later man."

The next day I try to call Caitlin, to tell her the good news but she's not at home or at her office. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen her car in the driveway for the past couple days, the thought worrying me. I call her cell phone, but I get her voice mail.

"Hey Caitlin it's Sid, I'm just wondering where you are, um... I'm going home for the next few days, so just call my cell."

I hang up and head to our last practice before a four day break. I'm about to head out of the locker room when my phone goes off, I see that it's Caitlin and immediately pick it up.

"Hey, where have you been?" I say.

"Hey, I'm in Newfoundland," she replies tiredly.

"Newfoundland. Like Newfoundland, Canada? Why are you there."

"Yes, Newfoundland, Canada. They had a pretty bad avalanche up here, and Flash, Hawkeye, Bran, and I were called up to do some search and rescue."

"Oh, are you on the slopes now?"

"Well, actually there are no 'slopes' left. The avalanche decimated a whole town. And no, I'm in my hotel room, so I can rest for a few hours before I go back out there."

"Alright, I'll let you sleep some then. If you need anything I'm going to be in Nova Scotia for the next few days, just give me a call."

"Okay will do," she yawns into the phone, "See ya Sid."

"Yeah, see ya later."
I hang up and go out onto the ice, I'm greeted by a round of applause. I laugh knowing it's because I broke up with Victoria.

"Wow, I didn't realize you guys hated her so much," I laugh.

"Yeah, yeah. So did you talk to Caitlin?"

"Shit I knew I forgot to tell her something. Yeah, I did talk to her, but I didn't tell her. She's up in Newfoundland doing search and rescue with some of the dogs. She said that an avalanche totally decimated a town," I reply, damn I knew I had called for a reason.

at Saturday, August 30, 2008 , 7 Comments

Chapter 26: SAR

I wake up, 3 hours later, to the phone ringing. I reach over Hawkeye to the table next to my bed.


"Hi, Caitlin Shaw?"


"This is Al Pine, from the Canadian Avalanche Dog Rescue Association, we just had a major avalanche up in Newfoundland and we are calling all the SAR dogs that have been certified in avalanche rescue to come help us. You are on our list with three other dogs... um... let me see... Hawkeye, Flash, and Bran. Are you able to come up and help us. I mean apparently, it is going to be extremely rare to find anyone living by the time you get up here, but do you think you could help us?"

"Definately," I say, now fully awake and out of bed.

"Okay, great. Um... the avalanche took out a whole town, so we're still looking for survivors that might have found shelter and then of course the bodies. How soon can you be up here?"

"I can be at the airport in 2 hours. Where exactly is this?"I say already pulling my suitcase out of the closet.

Al continues to give me the where abouts and all other details, before hanging up. I call Beth, still packing my suitcase with the stuff, I know I will need and the stuff the dogs will need. I'm not a rookie, but I'm nervous none the less. Although I do search and rescue a couple times a year and train a few times a year to keep my avalanche skills up to par, I have only done one other real avalanche rescue, but it was on a small scale.


"Hey, Beth, it's me. Are you doing anything for the next couple days?"

"Umm... no. Why?"

"I was just called up to Canada, they had a pretty bad avalanche in Newfoundland, and it apparently decimated a town near a ski resort."

"Okay, just bring up Maggie and Koda," she responds. Beth is usually the one that watches the Maggie and Koda for me when I go on Search and Rescue missions, being that they're not trained in Search and Rescue.

"Okay, thanks. I'll see you in a little bit." I say hanging up the phone.

Two and a half hours later, I'm getting on the airplane to take me to Newfoundland. After hours of flying I finally land at my destination and rent a car to take me to the hotel where the rescue teams are all staying. With my boys by my side, I go to the brief meeting and then head off to bed, to get a few hours rest before the long week ahead of me.

Sid's POV

"Ah, what was I thinking!" I scream as soon as I get in my house. Victoria won't be home until tomorrow. Should I tell her I kissed Caitlin? Do I still have feelings for Caitlin, I've tried to push them to the back of my mind, but maybe I do. Ugh, and the look on her face, the hurt in those gorgeous brown eyes, it was enough to rip my heart out. I needed to talk to someone. I pick up the phone and think of who to call. For the past few weeks, I would have called Caitlin with problems like these, knowing she would just listen and then give advice where it was needed. But I couldn't turn to her with this, I've already hurt her enough as is, I should probably stay away from her for a while. Finally, I decide to call Army.

"Hey, Sid what's up?"he asks cheerfully from the other line.

"I am so confused, I need someone to talk to."

"Why, don't you just talk to Caitlin? She's a great listener."

"I can't, I'm confused because of her." I groan into the phone.

"Oh, why don't you meet me down at the arena and we'll talk about all this on the ice."

"Yeah, good idea. I need to clear my head."

I quickly gather up my gear and head to the arena. After lacing up my skates, I go onto the ice to find Army and Flower waiting for me.

"So what's up?" Army asks as I skate over to them.

"Yeah, I thought you weren't coming home from LA until tomorrow,"Flower replies.

"I didn't go to LA. Victoria went the day before me and I hung back to get a few things done before hand, but then the snow storm came and grounded all the flights. So I went with Caitlin to spend Christmas with her and her family, which seemed better than spending it alone. But after what happened, I think it would have been better if I spent it alone," I sigh shaking my head.

"What happened? Did you not like her family?" Flower asks.

"No, I loved her family. They made me feel welcome and at home with them. But when we went to her grandparents on Christmas for dinner, she and I were alone, and I spotted some mistletoe hanging above us."

"And?" Army presses.

"And, I meant it just as a quick kiss, no big deal. But, then I couldn't seem to stop myself, and she kissed me back. It was really starting to heat up, but then her grandfather, called her from downstairs, and it kinda brought us back to reality. God, you should have seen her eyes when she pulled away. We basically haven't talked to each other since. I just keep hurting her, I know I do. I didn't think she still had feelings for me, or I for her, but now I'm not sure."

"What about Victoria?" Flower asks quietly.

"I don't know," I sigh, "I didn't think of her once when I was with Caitlin, at least not until that kiss."

"I think we should tell him," Army says looking at Flower.

"Yeah, I guess we should." Flower sighs.

"Tell me what?"

"Sid, do you love Victoria?" Flower asks in a very serious voice.

"Of course I do, I wouldn't have asked her to marry me if I didn't."

"Sidney, you just told us that you didn't think of her once when you were with Caitlin. Do you really love her. Can you picture yourself having children together and growing old together, like we both know you want?"Army asks.

"I... I... I don't know," I respond trying to picture Victoria with kids.

"Sid, here's the thing. None of us really like Victoria," Army states, not even hesitating.

"Who is us?" I reply in surprise.

"The whole hockey team, and our wives," Flower frowns.

"But, I thought..."

"Sid, the way we see it she's just after you for your money and your reputation. She's a puck bunny," Army says.

"Sid, we thought you would see it too, and dump her. Especially after you saw Caitlin, but..."Flower says guiltily.

"Wait, what does Caitlin have to do with any of this?"
"Oh, come on Sid. Don't tell me you don't see it," Army sighs.

"See what?"

"She loves you," Flower says quietly. It feels like some one has just hit me in the head, Caitlin loves me?

"How do you..."

"Everytime she sees you her eyes light up. And she told Colby..." Flower starts.

"She told Colby what?" I ask, frantic for answers.

"She told me that she never stopped loving you." Colby replies quietly. I inhale sharply as if someone has just punched me. Ugh, what have I done.

"You sure?" I ask weakly.

"Yes."Colby says,"Sid, no matter who you choose, we'll be there for you because we're you friends, but you asked for advice and now here it is. Victoria is a puck bunny and your rebound girl, you don't love her, but you've tricked yourself into thinking you do."

"Sid, you should see the way you look at Caitlin, as if she is the only one in the room," Flower continues. I stand there baffled and speechless.

"Ah, shit, we have to go. We left the wives at the mall, and they'll spend way to much, on stuff they don't need, unless we go over there." Colby says looking at his watch.

I stand shocked in the middle of the ice after they leave. Caitlin's in love with me, it has to be so painful for her to be around me especially seeing me with Victoria, but she's still there for me. God, now I'm even more confused then when I first came here.

August 29, 2008 at Friday, August 29, 2008 , 3 Comments

Chapter 25: It Hurts Too Much

Sid's POV

Her chocolaty gaze meets mine and I find myself taking a step closer to her as my eyes drift down to her full lips that have been tempting me for so long. My hand cups her neck and my thumb drifts across her smooth jaw line, as if my hand has a mind of it's own. Then before I know it, I'm leaning in. I hear her inhale slowly in anticipation and she closes her eyes, her lashes fanned out on her cheek bones. Our lips gently meet and its like hundreds of fireworks going off. Even though I meant it as a quick kiss under the mistletoe, I find myself dropping my hands to her slim waist and pulling her into me. Her arms encircle my neck and she presses herself into me returning the kiss, the feeling of holding her taking me back 4 years ago. Her soft curves against me, quickly has me wanting more. I'm about to give in to my needs, when I'm interrupted by her grandad's voice from down stairs. Reality quickly comes back to me, as though someone has checked me into a wall. 'what am I doing, I'm engage,' I think. I quickly pull away at the same time Caitlin does. She looks at me for a moment as the reality of the situation comes back to her, her eyes full of hurt as she looks at me.

"Yeah, I'll be right down,"she calls quickly looking away from me, her voice slightly shaking with emotion.

She picks up the two logs and walks away.

"I'll ... um... get your coffee," I manage to cough out.

Back to Caitlin's POV

We leave Grandma and Grandad's about an hour and a half later, the car ride is silent, and extremely awkward. We make it back to Grandma and Pap's to spend the night, planning to leaving at 9:00 the next morning. After getting ready for bed, and letting the dogs out, I crawl onto the comfy air mattress, my dogs crowding around me, sensing something is wrong. Bran, gingerly lays down next to me, careful not to break the mattress. I snuggle into him, burying my head into his neck, feeling his course fur against my face. The feeling takes me back to four years ago, on the beach with Bran, crying on his shoulder after leaving Sidney's house. Sid turns off the light and I hear him slide into his bed. We haven't spoken to each other since the kiss.

"Caitlin, I'm sorry," he whispers in the darkness.

I sigh and squeeze my eyes shut, willing the tears not to fall, but one warm tear streaks down my face anyway.

"Me too," I whisper.

The next morning, Sid and I pretend as if nothing happened so my family doesn't pick up on anything. After a teary goodbye to my grandma, she always cries when we leave, and an extremely sad goodbye to my mom, knowing that I won't see her until Easter, we head back to Pittsburgh. The whole ride is silent, and at one point the song "We Belong Together" by Gavin DeGraw comes on the radio.

We belong together
like the open seas and shores
wedded by the planet force
we've all been spoken for

The hammer may strike, be dead on the ground.
a net to my hand, a cross on his crown.
we're done if, who we're undone,
finished if who we are incomplete.
as one we are everything,
we are everything we need.

'I have never heard this song on the radio before, talk about ironic,' I think to myself as a push the scan button before the chorus starts again. Out of the corner of my eye I see Sid, look at me, but I don't attempt to look and try to read his expression, it hurts too much. Instead I keep my eyes trained on the road, glancing back a few times to check on my dogs. We get home and I pull my bag out of the car.

"Well, thanks for letting me spend Christmas with you, I really had a great time," Sid says breaking the silence.

"Yeah, me too. My family loved you." I say forcing myself to smile back. He looks at me, concern written all over his face.

"Caitlin, I'm really sorry," he whispers.

"Me too, Sid."I say avoiding his stare.

"I didn't mean to ..." he starts.

"It's okay." I say taking a deep breath.

"So, I'll see you later?" he asks.

"Yeah, see you later," I respond half heartily as I turn away from him to go into my house, leaving him standing in my driveway.

The dogs run into the house ahead of me, I close the door behind me and lean up against it, feeling the tears well up in my eyes. I slide to the floor my arms hugging my knees. I give into to hurt and tears I have trying to hold back for the past day. My head to my knees, I allow myself to cry, letting out an abundance of tears. Bran comes to my side and just sits there, keeping me company, letting me talk out my feelings.

"I can't keep letting him do this to me," I sob, "it hurts too much."

After what seems like an eternity, but is really only about half an hour, I pull myself together enough to drag myself upstairs for a nap. I lay in my bed, and slowly drift off to sleep. My dogs all pile into the bed with me, they are always there for me, helping me to pull through life's difficulties.

at Friday, August 29, 2008 , 4 Comments

Chapter 24: Under the Mistletoe

I look at the clock, 'Ugh, 8:00! wait, it's CHRISTMAS!' I think. I look up to the bed and see Sidney still asleep with Maggie in his arms. The rest of my pack is stretching, anxious to get outside. I tip toe up stairs and see that everyone but my Pap is still asleep. I peep my head in the living room and whisper a Merry Christmas to him. He looks down from his newspaper and grins, "And a Merry Christmas to you too, young lady." It's a well known fact that I'm his favorite grandchild, he's told me on numerous occasions. I quickly change into jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt in the bathroom. I'm about to go to the living room, when I do a double take. I look out the window and see that it has snowed even more over night! I look out into the back yard at the perfectly untouched snow. 'well, we're going to have to do something about that.' I go back into the living room and see that the rest of my family is up.

"Merry Christmas!" I say, "Hey Ian, do you have that air horn that we woke Mom and Dad up with last year?"

"Yeah," he says in confusion, "Oh, I see, yeah I'll go get it."

After my brother retrieves it from his room we head down into the basement. I get all the dogs outside and Maggie leaves the bed without interrupting Sid.

"Ready?!" I whisper in excitement.

"3...2...1..." my brother counts down.

"EEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I blow the air horn by the bed.

"What the ..." Sid says jumping out of the bed, his hair all tousled from sleep and his eyes open wide in surprise. He looks around for a moment and sees Ian and I, rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.

"You two scared the shit out of me," He says.

"OH, my God, that was even better than Mom and Dad, last year." I say gasping for air.

"Oh, definitely, I'll go let the dogs in and meet you two upstairs,"Ian says trying to over come his laughter.

"You did that to your parents last year?!" Sid asks in shock.

"Yeah, needless to say they woke up pretty early this year." I say struggling to stop my laughter.

"It wasn't funny,"Sid says trying not to smile.

"Are you kidding, it was hilarious!" I laugh.

"I'll show you hilarious," he says tackling me onto the bed, and preceding to tickle me.

"Oh my God, Sid, stop. I can't breath!" I laugh gasping for air. He finally lets me up and I wipe tears of laughter from my eyes.

"Okay, now let's go open presents!" I say tugging Sid's hand to fallow me.

"Have you had coffee this morning?" he asks with a yawn.

"Are you kidding me? I can go for a couple hours with out coffee on Christmas."

"That's apparent," he says fallowing me up the stairs.

We begin to open present. My brother of course, loves the Tom Brady jersey I got him, he is known as a traitor in our household, somehow my parents went wrong, because he turned out to be a Patriots fan instead of a Steeler's fan. I told him if he ever became a Flyer's fan, he would be disowned from the family. Sid opens the gift I got him.

"Sweet! Wii games, I challenge you to the NHL game as soon as we get home!" he says grinning, "A Nike shirt? I thought we discussed this, Reebok is better."

"I figured I'd add some variety to your wardrobe," I laugh as he hands me two neatly wrapped gifts.

"Oh my God, a Starbucks gift basket with about a billion flavors! It's a shame I don't like coffee,"I sigh sarcastically.

"Yeah, I knew you'd like it."he smiles.

I open the other one and laugh out loud. It's a framed photo of all my dogs wearing Penguin jerseys. They all have their backs to the camera so you can see who's jersey it is, and Flash has his head turned around looking at the camera. Bran has on Sidney's, Koda has on Jordan's, Maggie has Flower's, Hawkeye has Max, and Flash has on Colby's.

"Oh, Sid I love this, when did you take this?" I ask.

"When we all came over last week, I figured you would like it," he grins.

"Are you kidding me I love it, thank you!" I say giving him a hug, "Oh I almost forgot. Mom, Dad, this is for you."

My mother slowly opens it, to reveal a painting of a beach scene in the sunset. A starry night starts at the top and slowly fades into the red oranges of a sun, setting behind the vast ocean with two sail boats sailing it's calm waters.

"Oh, Caitlin this is gorgeous, it will be perfect for the bedroom," she gasps.

"That is beautiful, where did you get it," Sid asks.

"I painted it," I reply shyly.

"You painted that?!"he asks astounded.

"How long did this take you,"my dad asks.

"About 2 months,"I reply.

"You never told me you were and artist?" Sid says as we walk away from the group, so I can get a cup of coffee.

"I don't usually tell anyone. If I hadn't worked with dogs, I would be in an art studio," I shrug.

"Wow, I had no idea."

"It's no big deal. Well I'm going to go outside while my Grandma and Mom get breakfast. I would help, but I usually end up taking over the kitchen and getting kicked out anyways, so I figure I'll save them the trouble."

After playing out in the snow for a half hour, I come back into eat breakfast. Before I know it it's 2 o'clock and we're getting ready to go to my other grandparents house.

We park in the drive way of their house which is tucked away in the woods, much different than the my other grandparents who live in the suburb.

I step out of the car and see the picturesque snow scene with the snow covered pine trees and the little house.

"Okay, will go in and say hi. Then I'll take you for a walk in the field, before my Aunt and Uncle come."I say.


After introducing Sid to my Grandparents, who basically have no idea who he is, I hurry outside.

Come on let's go I say leading him to a path cut in the wooded part behind the house. I can't see the snow covered path, but I know it's there. We go up the steep hill and come to an opening. There my Grandad has created a bird sanctuary, with paths cut out between trees and thicket.
I get to the clearing before you enter, "the field", and stand there for a minute taking it all in.

"Wow, it's so peaceful up here," Sid whispers.

"This is my most favorite place in the world,"I say quietly.

I show him around taking him to where the blue birds make their nest every year, and where all the pets are buried. I tell him stories of my childhood, how the tree with the low branches created a magic tunnel, and how we would have praying mantis counting contests in the fall. We are about to head back down, I look at the field one last time, until Easter.

"You really love it here don't you?"he asks quietly pulling me into a hug.

"I really do,"I sigh into his chest. I had always loved my childhood and this place especially brought back a ton of memories.

"You need to come see my favorite place in the world. I have a lake off my house in Nova Scotia and you should see the sun come up on the lake. There were a few times that I slept on the dock, and then watched the sunrise in the morning," He says sighing.

"I'd like that," I smile looking up at him.

We head back down the path from which we came and I see that my Aunts and Uncles have arrived.

"Alright, so my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jeff are the ones who got me into hockey again when I was 16, they might go a little crazy when they see you."

"Great," he replies rolling his eyes but then grinning.

True to what I said, as soon as we walk into the house my Aunt says, "Holy crap, it's Sidney Crosby!"

After the introductions, the hockey talk subsides for a little bit and it's time for dinner.
My dad and my aunt go up stairs, Sid goes to get up, but I hold him back.

"Nuh, uh, not yet." I say simply, getting back to the monopoly game I'm currently engaged in with my cousins and brother.

"But your grandma said, it's dinner time," he says very confused.

"Not yet, it'll be another ten minutes. First she won't be able to open the wine bottle so it will be handed to either my dad or my uncle. And then she'll realize that we have enough places set, but we don't have enough chairs. Oh damn." I say as I realize I've landed on my brother's property.

"Ha! $25.oo please," he says sticking his hand out for me to pay him, "Sid she's right, they'll search all over the house for chairs and come up with two stools and a rickety old wooden chair that's how it is every year."

"And then my mom will say, "we should have brought those white fold up chairs we have in the basement.""my cousin continues.

"Uh, oh. We don't have enough chairs," I hear my Grandmother say.

"Told you,"I say moving 3 spaces.

Finally we commence with eating, telling stories of past Christmases and holidays. Finally, after opening presents, we all lay in the living room by the fire filled to the brim with dinner, listening to my Grandfather's stories about how he grew up on the rough side of town, which are always entertaining and funny. I slip away to get a refill on my coffee.

"Hey," I say as I see Sid enter the kitchen, "Are you having a good time?"

"Yeah, I'm having a blast. These past two days have been amazing, thanks for letting me come."

"My pleasure, I liked showing you a piece of my life."

"This house is so cozy and welcoming."

"Yeah, I know. I just hope that one day, I'll have my children and grandchildren over like this, and have this same cozy feeling around." I smile taking a sip of my coffee.

"Caitlin, will you get a few more pieces of fire wood, from the backroom, I want to uses that up before I use the stuff outside," my Grandad calls up, pausing before continuing on with his story.

"Sure, just a minute," I call back down, "You can help me carry a few logs down."

"Alright,"Sid sighs fallowing me into the back room.

"Oh, there's only 2 logs left," I say looking at the pile.

"Is that mistletoe?" I hear Sid ask as he looks up at the door frame above us.

Butterflies attack my stomach upon hearing his words, ' stop it girl, he's engaged,' I think to myself.

"Umm... yeah, my grandmother always hides it some place in the house, it's another tradition," I say looking at the floor.

"Caitlin, I..." he starts to say. I look up at him and immediately my eyes connect with his hazel ones. He looks from my eyes to my lips, taking a step closer to me. His hand cups my jaw and he slowly lowers his lips to mine, my eyelids flutter shut. Our lips gently meet and the moment they touch, it's like an electric current going through me. He puts an arm around my waist pulling me closer to his body, and I snake my arms around his neck half because I might fall over his kiss makes me so weak in the knees. It feels incredible to be in his arms again, feeling his hard muscles against me, with him kissing me so deeply.

"Caitlin! Are you bringing the wood down!"I hear my grandad call up.

Suddenly, reality comes back to me as if some one slapped me, and it hurts even worse. Sid and I pull away at the same time, breathless and at a complete loss for words. I take a deep breath and then call back.

"Yeah, I'll be right down,"hoping that my words don't shake with the emotion going through me. I pick up the logs and head out the door.

"I'll... um... get your coffee," Sid says clearing his throat.

August 25, 2008 at Monday, August 25, 2008 , 8 Comments

Chapter 23: All I want for Christmas is You

I pull up into my grandparents drive way and immediately hop out of the car. I tug open the door for the dogs and then run out. Sid starts pulling bags out of the car.

"No, leave them," I say anxious to go see my family.

"Fine, I just wish you were excited about being here," he laughs sarcastically.

"Ha, Ha, funny. Let's go," I say running up the steps to the back door. With Sid behind me and my dogs in the yard I ring the door bell, moments later a brunette woman in her early 50s opens the door.

"You're here!"she squeals.

"Mom! Oh my gosh you need to move closer I miss you!"I reply giving her a hug.

"Hi, Caitlin," my Grandma says coming over and giving me a hug.

"Hi! God, I missed being home. Oh, sorry I completely forgot, Mom, Grandma, this is Sidney, Sidney this is my mom and my Grandma." I smile.

"Nice to meet the both of you, and thanks for letting me stay on such short notice." he smiles.

"Oh, my dear it's a pleasure,"my grandma replies.

"Caitlin Marie, you didn't tell me you were bringing Sidney Crosby home for the holidays!"my mom grins.

"Yeah, well Sid and I are good friends, and he need some family over Christmas, so he came with me."

I walk into the living room with Sid walking behind me, my dad sits in the blue recliner facing the TV talking to my grandfather, probably about his job. My brother is sprawled out on the couch, with the remote.

"Hey guys!" I say.

"Hey, how are the dogs?" my dad asks.

"They're good, they're outside at the moment. Umm guys, this is Sidney, Sidney this is my Dad, Pap, and my brother Ian," I say pointing everyone out.

"Nice to meet everyone. Wow, I thought you and your mom looked a lot a like, but you and your brother look pretty similar," he responds.

"Yeah, that's what everybody says, it's mostly the eyes though,"Ian replies, some people call him the 17 year old male version of me, except he's always excelled more in sports, and all though I'm in shape, I've always leaned more toward the arts.

"Alright, we can go get the bags now, being that we have to leave in 15 minutes," I sigh.


After bringing the bags and the dogs in, I quickly change into a high waisted black skirt with high heels and a purple blouse. I walk out of the bathroom to see Sid handsomely dressed in a suit.

"Well, you look nice Mr. Crosby," I laugh getting close to fix his tie, breathing in his male scent.

"You clean up pretty well too, Miss Shaw," he grins as his eyes travel the length of my body when he thinks I'm not looking.

"Alright, let's get going."

A few hours later, we are all sitting around the living room watching The Santa Claus, like we do every Christmas Eve. The movie comes to an end, and so begins the epic discussion that takes an eternity to figure out, where is everyone going to sleep. Finally it come down to, my mom and dad get my mom's old room, my brother gets my uncle's room, and Sid and I get the basement. It seems so simple yet for some reason, it always takes like an hour to figure out. I do the nightly essentials and put on an oversized t-shirt and a pair of pj bottoms. I walk into the basement with a few pillows and sheets. The dogs are already asleep on the floor except for Maggie who is resting her head on Sid's lap as he watches TV on the couch.

"Hey, the couch pulls out into a bed, so you can sleep there." I say,"I'll sleep on the air mattress."

"Are you sure you don't want the bed?" he asks.

"No, I'm fine on the air mattress, oh and don't be surprised if you wake up next to Mags in the morning."

"alright," he says pulling out the couch as I blow up the air mattress. After settling down for the night, I just can't help but ask,"So what do you think so far?"

"I'm having a blast, your family treats me just like one of them, and I don't think your Grandma knows who I am, it's refreshing. Oh, and you were totally right about the mushroom soup."
"I told you not to try it, but no you had to be polite and take a bowl full."

"It's okay, I choked it down and lived. But seriously who ever made up that recipe?"

"I have no idea, but I like my Campbell's."

"Mmm...mmm... good," Sid jokes, making me laugh.

"Good night Sid," I say from the floor.

"Good night." he says turning off the light. I'd be the happiest girl alive if my Christmas present was him. I think to myself, as I yearn to be in bed next to him, wrapped in his strong arms, like I was 4 1/2 years ago.

August 24, 2008 at Sunday, August 24, 2008 , 2 Comments

Chapter 22: You're In!

Sid's POV

"I can't believe I almost kissed her, what was I thinking? I'm engaged!" I say aloud thinking back to last night. I try to turn my attention back to the Canes and Habs game. Victoria should be in LA by now, I'm suppose to catch a 8:00 flight there tomorrow morning. Maybe it'll be good to get away for a while clear my head. I go outside for a minute on to my deck. I go to look up at the stars, but much to my dismay it's cloudy. I hear a sharp whistle and a few of the dogs go past me and into her house.

I sigh and think back to last night. I had seen her go out on the deck and I figured we could just talk like normal. But as soon as her eyes caught mine, I dunno I just couldn't look away. I thought back to the beach, when as soon as her lips touched mine, it was like a million fire works going off. Then before I knew it I was leaning in, picturing her plump lips against mine. God, if Victoria hadn't said something, there would have been no stopping me. I looked up from my hands as something cold and wet touched the back of my neck. To my surprise it's snowing. I look over to Caitlin's house to see her standing on her steps, grinning up at the sky.
'Damn it she was right!' I smile to myself. I go back inside, and turn in for the night.

"What do you mean all the flights are cancelled!!!" I yell into the phone.

"I'm sorry Mr. Crosby but due to the big snow storm last night all the flights are cancelled," the man says.

"When will I be able to get out?" I sigh, damn Victoria would be furious.

"Probably not until the 26th," he responds, "I really am sorry Mr. Crosby, have a good Christmas."

"You too," I grumble before hanging up.

I call Victoria, dreading doing so even as I press the buttons.

"Hey, baby what's up. Are you on the plane?" she asks.

"No. All the flights are cancelled until the 26th, we got a huge snow storm here last night, and they aren't letting any planes out of the city. I'm really sorry." I sigh into the phone.

"What?!" she yells, "Well, your going to just have to tell them that you're Sidney Crosby and that you need to come to LA!"

"I'm sorry I can't, I guess we're going to have to spend this Christmas apart."

"Well, then you're just going to have to drive over here," she says angrily.

"Victoria, are you out of your mind. It will take me until the 26th to drive there."

"Fine. But I won't get your presents," she says pouting into the phone.

"You will, I won't be able to make it for Christmas, because we have a hockey game on the 27th."

"Can't you just skip a game?"

"NO, I can't just skip a game. This is my job, Victoria!"I yell into the phone.

"I know I'm sorry. I guess I'll talk to you later."

"You, too. I'll call you tomorrow," I say hanging up the phone. Damn it, now I have to spend Christmas alone, how sad is that. 'I need to vent.' I think about going for a run but it snowed over a foot of snow last night, that would be close to impossible. I look at my clock, 6:02. I put on my boots and trek to the house next door. I pound on the door, and I hear the dogs barking.

Caitlin opens the door a few minutes later, a robe covering her. But it's not tied so I can see that the only thing covering her is an over sized t-shirt, just barely covering her lower half. I inhale sharply as I gaze at her long toned legs.

"It's early," she says simply, her hands on her hips, "I have another hour and a half at least."

"Do you see what happened," I say pointing outside, "Why the hell did it do that?" she peeks her head around me and immediately her tired eyes open wide, a smile spreading across her face. The dogs run past me and out to play in the snow.

"Ooooo, how much is out there?!"she replies like a little kid.

"Enough, to cancel the flights until the 26th," I grumble.

"There has to be at least a foot out there," she says not hearing me.

"Did you hear me?! I can't get out of the city, I can't be with Victoria on Christmas,"I yell.

"Oh, Sid, I'm sorry come in." she says opening the door for me.

I tell her my story about how I can't get out of the city and she listens intently.

"Sid, I'm so sorry. How's Victoria, she probably flipped her lid."

"To say the least. What am I going to do, I have to spend Christmas alone, it's going to suck." I say looking at the floor.

"Bah humbug! Can't you spend it with Colby or someone?"she asks.

"No everyone went home to there families. But no, I had to stay in the city one more day."

"Calm down. You can always come with me. I'm going to spend Christmas with my family, it's about an hour drive from here."
"I thought your parents lived in Maryland."

"They do, but they come up during the holidays, both of their parents live up here. And all my Aunts and Uncles come up. It's always a blast."

"I don't know, it's kinda last minute." I hesitate.

"Oh, please, my grandparents will love having you, and you're already packed."

"Alright, I'll come."

"Awesome, believe me you'll enjoy it. Did you eat breakfast?" she asks getting up.

"Nope what you got?"

"Well, I would be in bed, but now I'm too excited. How bout french toast?"

"Sweet!"I say following her into the kitchen.

"Well, you're in." she yells from the kitchen into the living room where I was watching TV with most of the dogs.

"Are you sure it's okay, I don't want to be putting you guys out."

"Sid, seriously it's fine. I talked to both of my grandparents and they're over joyed."

"alright so when are we leaving?"

"Umm... I still need to pack a few things and the dogs..."

"The dogs are coming too?"

"Well yeah, what else am I going to do with them. I would board them but it's Christmas."

"What was I thinking?" I reply sarcastically.

"You apparently weren't," she laughs, "Any ways we'll head out about 3, that way we can drop the dogs off at my mom's parent's house, which is where we'll be staying. Then I'm going to Church with them at 5, you don't have to come if you don't want to."

"No I'll come," I respond.

"Okay, then mass will be over at like 6:30, and we'll go back to the house and have the
traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Then we'll open presents and stuff in the morning, eat breakfast, and then at like 2 we'll head to my other grandparents and eat dinner there. God I can't wait!" she says grinning.

"Sounds good. So what's this 'traditional Christmas Eve dinner'?"

"Well, it's basically a mix of my grandfather's Slovak heritage and my grandmother's Ukrainian. We have this nasty soup every year that I never eat, and would advise you against eating it too." she responds wrinkling her nose.

"What's in it?"

"Well, my grandmother makes home made noodles. which are good. But the soup it's self is basically mushrooms that have been cooking in a sauerkraut broth all day. I like sauerkraut, but yuck."

"Wow, you really got me looking forward to this."

"That's the only bad part, besides the Lima beans. We have perogies, fish, and my favorite the , bobalki which is basically little bread balls in cabbage. It's awesome."

"Too bad you're not at all excited about this trip!" I laugh sarcastically.

"And it's a white Christmas too, which makes it even better!" she smiles back at me.

at Sunday, August 24, 2008 , 1 Comment

Chapter 21: The Challenge

"You're the best you know that," Sid says giving me a hug.

"Yeah, I know, but it's still nice to hear,"I say picking up the last of the beer bottles and throwing them into the heaping recycling bin, "All the neighbors are going to think I'm a drunk."

"Ha, yeah." Sid and I are the only one's left in the house. It's 11:30 and all the guys just left, luckily cleaning up most of their mess, on orders from the captain of course. The day was filled with movies, poker, and a wild game of twister, all going on at the same time.

"So you going to Army's Christmas party?" Sid asks.

"Hell yeah, it's gonna be a blast!" I say.

"Sweet, it's pretty low key, but it's definitely fun."

"I can't wait, I love all you guys and we always have so much fun."

"Well, apparently the love is mutual or they wouldn't have raided your house today."

'if only the love was mutual,' i think.

"Alright, I better get going, Victoria will be wondering where I am."

"I'm sure she knows your over here being that the whole hockey team was parked on the road."

"Yeah," he says giving me another hug, oh how I love the feel of his muscular body pressed against mine, "I'll see you on Friday at the party."

"Okay, see you then, thanks for helping me clean up."

"Are you kidding, you just had an entire hockey team come over unannounced, it's the least I can do," he says opening the door.

"Oh, and Sid, just let the dogs out."

"Alright, can do,"he replies as the dogs race out around him.

"What a day," I say climbing the steps to my bedroom changing into an over sized t-shirt, my pj's of choice.

The next two days seem to fly by and before I know it, I'm on my way to Colby's house. I pull up to his huge house with a ton of cars parked out front. If I didn't know all the guys I would be extremely intimidated, but I do have to meet all the wives and girlfriends. I ring the door bell and Colby answers.

"Hey, what's that," he says motioning to the container in my hands.

"Christmas cookies I baked, I made some for my family and I figured you guys would inhale some of them, so here," I said handing over the container.

"Thanks," he says opening the container and pulling out a cookie as he walks away. I just follow him in, knowing that that's what I'm supposed to do.

"Ummm... Hun, introduction please," a brunette asks Colby.

"Oh, right, Caitlin this is my wife Sara, Sara this is Caitlin, she's the one I was telling you about."

"Oh, Caitlin, nice to meet you. I still can't believe you housed all our boys unexpectedly," she smiles.

"Please I had a blast. Uh, Colby, does she..." I begin.

"Yeah, I know about you and Sid, and Laura, Marc-Andre's wife knows too, but don't worry our lips are sealed," Sara says giving me an encouraging smile.

"Okay, thanks. I don't know who knows and who doesn't,"I sigh with relief.

"It's cool, I totally understand. Hey before the guys sweep you up and take you away for the rest of the night, I'll introduce you to some of the girls, where all in this room over here. Colby save some of the cookies for the other guys," she yells into the next room, "He's like a little kid."

"I know, they all are," I laugh.

"You can say that again," she says leading me into a room full of women.

She introduces me to all of them and they all seem pretty down to earth, but I feel a little out of place. All the girls are wearing cute dresses and high heels. I'm wearing jeans and a sweater, with a pair of high heeled brown leather boots. I feel a bit shabby, and all the women are of course gorgeous. But they are all really nice, how Sid ended up with Victoria, I'll never fully understand. She's talking to Max's girlfriend Leah, who is trying to look for an escape from the conversation. I walk over and say hi to Victoria, who gives me a very snobby hello back.

"Hi, you must be Leah, I'm Caitlin," I say extending my hand.

"Oh, hi. I'm sorry who are you with."She asks politely.

"Oh no, I'm not here with anyone, I'm just a friend,"I smile.


"Umm... basically the whole hockey team."

"Oh, you're Caitlin, the one who lives next to Sid. You, my dear, are a hero in all of our eyes for taking all the guys in at a moments notice," she laughs

"Thanks, I seem to be hearing that a lot today. Oh, umm... Laura wants to ask you something," I say slowly walking away with her fallowing me. After we're out of ear shot she says,


"No problem, we could see you over there almost crying out for help," I smile leading her back to the group I was talking with.

"Super Mario!" I hear the guys shout from the other room.

"What are they talking about?" I ask.

"Everytime we get together, they have a wii competition, so they must be playing Super Mario," Ryan Malone's wife Alexis, responds.

"Hmmm...if you lady's will excuse me I'm gonna go see if I can kick some butt in there," I say.

"Yeah, go for it, we'll be in in a bit," Laura says laughing.

I walk into the other room and immediately I'm greeted by the players. Ryan Malone throws me over his shoulder caring me to the wii by the big Plasma TV. He drops me on the floor and says, "Caitlin Shaw, I challenge you to Super Mario."

I laugh out loud with the other guys and then with a wicked look I respond, "I accept, you're goin' down, Bugsy!"

Sid's POV

"Sidney, do we have to go?" Victoria whines.

"Victoria it's only for a tonight and the other wives and girlfriends will be there."

"Will Caitlin be there?" she asks.

I look over at her in shock, "Yeah, why?"

"I don't trust her, she has to be a slut for hanging out with all you guys."

"She's not a slut, she's just one of the guys." I say defending her.

"I don't know I'd watch out for her, she's just a puck bunny,"she says.

"No she's not," I say starting to get mad.

"All she wants is money and to get into ...."she begins.

"Victoria, that's enough, Caitlin's a good friend of mine, I don't want to hear you talking her down. She has worked hard to get where she is today, and there is nothing wrong with hanging out with all of the guys." I say angrily pulling into the driveway.

We walk up to the door and she says, "Sidney I'm sorry, we're still going to LA for Christmas, right?"

"Yeah, we can. But I have some things to work on tomorrow, so you can go up, and then I'll come up on Christmas Eve,"I sigh.

I agreed to go to LA with her for Christmas, instead of spending it with my family, because we don't have a game until the 27th and she has family there, if you count a Mom and her newest husband, that calls every six months, a family.

"Okay," she giggles.

I ring the door bell and Colby shows us in. The guys are setting up the wii for our infamous competition of the year. Victoria slips away with the other women, when I hear the doorbell ring. Colby leaves and a few minutes later comes back with a container full of cookies.

"Colby save some of the cookies for the other guys," Sara yells in from the other room.

"Cookies?" Jordan asks coming over to eat one.

"Yeah, Caitlin baked some cookies," he responds through a mouthful,"There awesome!"

"If they are anything like her cooking they must be fabulous," I say reaching for a chocolate chip cookie.

"Oh, my God! What would we do without Caitlin?" Petr Sykora says eating a cookie.

"Super Mario!" Max yells, and we respond with a chorus of shouts.

I happen to glance up to the doorway and do a double take. There is Caitlin, looking incredibly gorgeous. She is dressed in a close fitting sweater and dark jeans that fit perfectly over every curve, her high heels making her legs look a mile long even though she's short. She has on a small amount of dark green eye shadow bringing out her dark chocolate eyes, and her chestnut hair is in loose waves, under the lighting you can see the natural auburn highlights.

"Caitlin!" Ruutu yells, making everyone look up from what their doing.

"She looks really good," Colby says in my ear, "Sid close your mouth you're drooling."

"Shut up," I say punching him in the arm. I look back to her to see Ryan Malone picking her up and throwing her over his shoulder. He carries her over to the wii, dropping her on the floor.

"Caitlin Shaw, I challenge you to Super Mario."

Everyone laughs, and Caitlin throws back her head laughing along. After it all quiets down, she gets a wicked look in her eye that makes her look incredibly sexy, "I accept, you're goin' down Bugsy!"

Caitlin's POV

I of course beat Bugs in Super Mario, and after the game is over, I slip outside on the deck with a glass of wine. I welcome the cold chilly air as it hits me and go over to the side of the deck looking out into the darkness. I hear the door open behind me and a shadow reveals a pair of incredible broad shoulders. I look up into the stars on the clear night, I take a deep breath, "It's coming," I say quietly, as Sidney comes to stand next to me.

"What's coming?" he asks looking up into the stars. The last time we were looking at the stars together was on the beach.

"Snow. It's coming." I smile. I love the snow, always have.

"Nope, the weatherman said we won't get snow this Christmas," Sid replies shaking his head.

"Maybe not in LA, but in PA we're going to get snow, I'd say sometime tomorrow." I grin, before taking a sip of wine.

"How do you know?" he asks looking at me.

"Just a feeling," I say continuing to look at the stars.

"I bet you it won't," he says grinning.

"You're on," I grin back.

His eyes catch mine and hold. He looks at my lips back up to my eyes, as if he is going to kiss me. My memory flashes back to when he first kissed me at the beach. The fireworks that went off everytime his lips hit mine, I had dated a couple times since that summer but I could never seem to have that kind of chemistry with a guy. My eyes drop to his lips as he steps closer, I inhale waiting to feel his lips on mine.

"Sidney, can we go now," I hear Victoria whine as she opens the door.

I hear Sidney sigh, barely audible and my eyes meet his and I see a feeling that I can't identify.

"Not yet Victoria, it's only 10:30, we'll leave in another hour," Sid says stepping away from me to go to Victoria.

He closes the door behind him leaving me all alone with the stars.

"Damn," I whisper, taking another sip of wine.

at Sunday, August 24, 2008 , 5 Comments

Chapter 20: One of the Guys

After practice Sid drives me home and then has to leave, something about going shopping with Victoria. I just get in the house when my phone rings, an unidentified number popping up.

"Hey, it's me, do you think I could come over to your place?"

"Yes, 'me', you can. You know that sounded kinda stalkerish, right." I say laughing into the phone.

"Well, maybe I am stalking you, you never know. So where do you live?"

"Your not a very good stalker if you don't know where I live."

"Very funny, but seriously."

"I'm in the stone house next door to Sid."

"Wait, so you guys are neighbors?!"

"Yeah, kinda ironic, eh?"
"Just a tad, I'll be over in like 10 minutes. And I'm the Canadian here not you."

10 minutes late, there is a knock at the door. I open the door and Colby comes in.

"Alright, straight down to business," he says sitting down on the couch. Maggie jumps up next to him putting her head in his lap.

"Your in her seat, she thinks you're there to pet her."

"Don't change the subject,"he says petting Maggie.

"I didn't realize we brought up a subject."

"You and your sarcasm. Do you want to here what I have to say or not?"

"Okay fine, I'll just listen."
"Good, now like I said, Sid is not happy with Victoria, he's still in love with you. He just doesn't know it."

"Wait, when I left Florida Sidney hated me... then he told me he tried to find me... and then he met Victoria? I seem to be missing a few pieces."

"Okay, we'll start from the beginning. After you left the beach I gave Sid the note telling him to read it, he told me no that he hated you, and I told him that he didn't. He didn't come out to the beach that day, he just stayed in his room and sulked. After coming in at the end of the day, I went to talk to him. He told me he made the biggest mistake of his life letting you go."
"He said that," I ask.

"Yes, so he tried to find you. He went to the campus in Maryland, but he couldn't find you or anyone that knew you. The fact that he didn't even know your last name might of had something to do with that, that was in August when school was in. He basically had no way of finding you, and he went in kinda deep after that. He kept to himself, more so than usual, and every time he went out with us he would always stay away from the group, by himself, and shoot down all the girls that tried to make moves on him. He told us he didn't want another girl, he wanted you. I, of course, was really worried about him so I told him to move on, that he wasn't going to find you."

"Understandable." I replied listening intently.

"Well, he didn't date for a few years, and every time we went to D.C. to play the Caps, he would disappear for a day after the morning skate was over, then he would come back, depressed as hell."

"How do you know this, you just came back this year?"
"Staalzy was his room mate at the time, so he told me. He and I figured out that Sid was going down to the campus every time they went down there to play, looking for you. Well, the years passed and he didn't find you. Then one day, Staalzy said Sid came back, wicked ass drunk and extremely depressed. Apparently he went to the campus to find you, like always, and he found someone who thought they knew you; however, they proceeded to tell him that you had graduated and that they didn't know where you went."

"Oh, no." I sighed.

"Yeah, Sid was even more depressed because he knew he wouldn't be able to find you. He was still pretty depressed when we all went out one night. I was there and I told him to move on, find another girl, thinking we would never see you again. So that night, Victoria was the first girl to hit on Sid. And well, him being so depressed and all, he just kinda went for it. I didn't think he would end up asking her to marry him."

"Well, maybe they fell in love." I sigh.

"No. He's not in love with her. Caitlin he doesn't give her that look."
"What look?"

"The one he gives you, like your the only person in the room. The guys and I hate Victoria, maybe we'd like her a little more if she wasn't playing Sidney so much, or if he actually loved her. No, she's basically his rebound girl, he thinks he's in love but he's not. And Victoria, she's not in love with anything but his wallet."

"Thanks for telling me this Colby, but I'm not going to get between them," I say firmly.

"Yeah, I didn't think you would, your too much of a good girl to do that, even if you really want him. But, don't worry, if he doesn't come to his senses soon the whole team and I will tie him down and beat the sense into him, captain or not," he says getting up to leave, "Oh, and I forgot to tell you. We're having a big Christmas party coming up here pretty soon, your invited."
"Thanks, when and where?"
"Next week, the 22 at my house. It's just a little Christmas party, before the holidays."
"Sweet I'll be there."

"Good. You'll have fun all the guys love you. Victoria on the other hand might get a drink or two spilled on her if she's still around," he laughs opening the door.

"Alright Colby, I'll see you then, and thanks."
"You needed to know, Caitlin," he says before shutting the door.

A few days pass, Sid and I start hanging out more and more, it's basically to the point now where he can just come into my house and eat breakfast when I'm in the shower. And to my horror the whole hockey team is getting just as close to me. It's a Friday, and I don't have to work today. It's the 20th and being that everyone is getting ready for vacation, I decide close the business until the 27th. Anyways, it's about 11:00 in the morning and after sleeping in until 9:30 (Flash must have been having an off day) and going for my morning walk and jog, I hop in the shower. I hear the dogs bark a little bit and I figure Sidney just showed up.

"Caitlin you here?!" he yells up the stairs.

"Yeah, I'm in the shower, I'll be down in a little bit."I yell back down.

I get out of the shower and twist my hair into a quick braid. I slip on a pair of worn jeans with holes in the knees, an old t-shirt, and wool socks. After applying some foundation and mascara I go down stairs to make some breakfast, my guess is Sid has parked himself infront of the TV, like he does almost everytime I'm home after his morning skate. Boy was I wrong.

I go down the steps, with Bran fallowing behind, to see the entire team hanging out in my small living room.

"Holy shit! What are all of you doing here?!" I ask flabbergasted. My reaction bringing out a chorus of laughter.

"Well, the guys and I were talking about how we all needed a break from women and life. Remembering that you took off for the next few days, I said that I was just going to go chill at your place today, like I always do after a morning skate. Colby said I was lucky to have a friend like you, that I could just hang out with and you wouldn't expect anything in return,"Sid says.

'oh, Colby, as subtle as you are, he still didn't get it,' I think smiling as I look over at Colby who is grinning mischievously on the couch with Koda.

"So basically, we decided we'd all come here. I hope that's okay," Sidney finishes.

"Yeah, that's fine. I'm just astounded that you all fit in here. Oh, and you know I am a girl right?"

"Huh?"Sid responds.

"You said you guys needed a break from women? So you came to one's house, yeah, that makes sense."

"Awww... face it Caitlin," Ryan Malone says coming to put an arm around my shoulders, "your one of the guys."

"Gee, thanks." I say rolling my eyes, "so, I'm guessing your all hungry."

"Caitlin, you don't have to..."Sidney begins.

"Don't listen to him, yes, we're hungry." Max says who I spot kneeling down petting Hawkeye.

"Alright, well I don't have enough food in the house for you all, how's Chinese and pizza sound?" I ask. Immediately a plethora of orders are shouted out.

"Whoa, hold on," I yell above the rest. I disappear into my office area, grabbing two sheets of paper and writing "PIZZA" on one, "CHINESE"on the other. "Okay, write down your orders, I'll call and see how much money, then we'll make a money pot from there."

"You mean your not paying for us?" Ruutu replies sarcastically.
"Yeah, right! I've seen the way you guys eat," I look outside and see that Ryan Whitney's car is the one in the back, "Whit, you can get out the easiest."

"So." he replies.

"Well, someone has to go get beer." I smile.

"Yes, ma'am."he grins jumping up and out the door.

'It's going to be a fun day,' I think to myself.

August 23, 2008 at Saturday, August 23, 2008 , 4 Comments

Chapter 19 ~ I Never Stopped

Sid’s POV

I ring the doorbell and immediately hear the sound of barking dogs. A few moments later, she opens the door her brown eyes connecting with mine as always, yet it still gives me that feeling.
“Hey, I’m almost ready. I just need my coat and some coffee,” she says in a rush.
“Alright, that’s fine. Take your time, you really don’t have to rush.” I say fallowing her into the house. Her hair in a loose braid, with a few wisps of hair rebelling from confinement, has a slight swing as she walks. She has on a dark green long sleeve t-shirt, paired with a pair of dark jeans and chocolate brown leather boots, with no heel. ‘God, she looks amazing.’ I think as I watch her hips slightly sway as she walks away from me and into the kitchen. ‘stop it Crosby, you can’t have feelings for her!’
“No, you don’t understand. I need to rush in the morning. I’m not a morning person and before I have my coffee I run on adrenaline.”
I open my mouth to tell her that she shouldn't do that but she beats me to it, looking back at me to say, “And before you say it, I know it’s bad for me.”
“Well as long as you know,” I say as I feel a wet nose push into my palm. A greyhound, who I remember is named Maggie, looks up at me, pleading me to pet her. I smile and with a quiet laugh bend down to stroke her head.
Caitlin wraps a scarf around her slender neck and puts on her coat, before walking back into the kitchen, only to come back moments later with a travel mug, which I assume is filled with coffee.
“Alright, I’m ready let’s go. Mags you can cuddle with Sid later,” she tells the dog.
“Gee, your no fun,” I smile getting up and fallowing her out the door, after giving Maggie a final pat on the head. Caitlin slides into the passenger side and closes the door behind her. Leaning back into the seat she takes a deep breath and shuts her eyes.
“are you okay?” I ask as we drive down the street.
Hmm? Oh, yeah, it’s just the adrenaline is starting to wear off, and I’m getting tired,” she says with a yawn.
“well you better drink that coffee, because your going to need all the energy you can get once Colby spots you.”
“I can’t wait, I missed you guys. “ she says softly.
I look over at her, her eyes are closed and she looks to be asleep. Her long dark lashes fanned out against her cheeks, masking her chocolaty eyes. Her lips full and with a natural pink flush, not weighed down by heavy makeup, making them perfectly kissable, making me wish I could press mine against them. Ah, stop thinking like that.
“Yeah, I missed you too,” I reply quietly and watch as a smile creeps to her face.

Caitlin’s POV

I swallow the last bit of my precious energy just as we pull into the parking lot.
“We’re here,” Sid says turning off the ignition. 'I am so excited to see the guys again, they were so easy going and fun to be around at the beach, they made the vacation fun… well them and one other,’ I think looking at Sidney walking beside me as we enter the arena.
He leads me to a lounge area with a leather couch, pop machines, and such.
“So this is basically where we just hang out,” he says explaining things to me when he is interrupted by the sound of the door opening. I turn around to see Colby Armstrong enter the room. On vacation, all the guys and I were pals, but Colby was like my big brother. He stops as he sees me, and looks from me to Sid. Then he finally asks,
“So are you two together?” he asks.
I feel my face turn red as I look down and Sid manages to cough out a “no” beside me, talk about awkward.
“But, you two are ok?”he asks cautiously.
“Yeah, were fine now,” Sid answers. I look back up in time to see a wide grin spread over Colby’s face, I smile back and then he starts to run toward me.
“No, Colby…” I caution, as he gets closer. When it is apparent that he’s coming after me, I dash the other way, but it’s too late. He grabs me by the waist and throws me onto the near by couch. He begins to tickle me, something he used to do at the beach.
“Colby, get off. Stop.” I say laughing hysterically, my abs hurting from laughing so hard. I catch a glimpse of Sidney who is doubled over laughing.
Finally after what seems like and eternity of torture, he lets me up. As I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes, he gives me a strangling hug.
“Ah, I missed you, you were gone way too long!” he says.
“I missed you too, God Colby let me go I can’t breath!” I say dramatizing the sound of him cutting off my air supply.
As soon as he lets go of me, the door opens again and in pop Max and Flower. They look at me for a moment, I still have tears in my eyes from Colby’s torture and I have a huge grin on my face. ”She’s back?!” Max asks.

"I’m back.”
Max and Flower both give me hugs lifting me off the ground.
“So how have you been, eh?” Colby asks.
“Well… “ I begin when I’m interrupted by the door opening a third time. In pops Jarkko Ruutu, Ryan Malone, Ryan Whitney, and Jordan Staal.
“Who’s the chick?” Whitney asks.
“CAITLIN!!!!” Jordan yells and scoops me up in his arms. I laugh at him putting my arms around his neck.

"How have you been?" he asks.

"I've been good, you?"

"Fine, I was so surprised when I saw you at the hospital the other day."

"I could tell, your jaw almost hit the floor."I laugh.

Soon enough, the rest of the team comes in and I'm immediately introduced. Of course I get along with everyone, as usual.

"So now that you know everyone, I need to go talk to coach for a little bit, then I'll be back to show you where you sit,"Sidney says leaving the room.

"Mmmkay, take your time. I'm sure I will be entertained."

As soon as the door closes Colby speaks up,

"Have you met Victoria?"

"Yeah, she and Sid came over for dinner last night."

"Well, what did you think of her?" he pushes. I'm a little cautious to answer being that the whole team minus Sidney is waiting for my answer.

"Ummm... well... she's pretty and ... umm... she seems to like Sidney," I reply hesitantly.

"You mean his money,"Malone snorts.

"Just go ahead and say it Caitlin, you don't like her. It's okay none of us do," Kris Letang says.

"Well, I didn't really picture Sid going for a girl like her..." I begin.

"You pictured him with you," Geno says.

"No, not with me, just not with..."I begin again.

"A puck bunny. Yeah neither did we, and Caitlin we did picture him with you," Max says.

Suddenly the door opens and in walks Coach Therrien and Sid.

"Alright boys, let's get out on the ice." Everyone files out the door and I begin to fallow, when a hand closes around my arm, pulling me away from the crowd.

"Are you still in love with him?"Colby whispers.

"Colby..." I hesitate.

"Caitlin, are you still in love with him?" He insists making me look at him.

"I never stopped," I say, my voice barely audible and I can feel tears coming on again. Damn it I hate crying.

"Don't worry kid, he'll come around. I'll kill him before he marry's Victoria," he says giving me a hug.

"Colby, I just want him to be happy."
"He's not, he just thinks he is. He really wants you, I think that's why he is with Victoria now."

"What?"I asked extremely confused.

"Go plug your number into my phone on the table over there, we need to talk but not right now."

"Alright," I say as he walks away. I quickly go over to the small table and put my number in to Colby's phone like he asked. I begin to walk away, when I hear Sid call my name.

August 22, 2008 at Friday, August 22, 2008 , 2 Comments

Chapter 18: OMG, it's Barbie!

"Alright, a casual dinner...hmmm.... I think dark jeans, and umm.. the gray sweater, what do you think?"

"Ruff," Bran answers.

"Good." I smile, slipping out of my robe to change into the clothes.

'now what shoes?' I think to myself, 'ah, don't bother.' I'll just wear my socks, it is my house after all.

I run down the steps and into the kitchen (with dogs following close behind), grabbing my iPod off the couch as I pass. Putting it on shuffle I start dinner. I told Sidney and his fiance to come at 7, and I would cook them dinner. I really wanted to be friends with Sid, who am I kidding I wanted to be more than friends with Sid, but I also wanted him to be happy, so if this girl made him happy, I guess I could at least meet her. It's 6:55 and I'm just setting the table, my pasta with the light Alfredo sauce is done, along with the red potatoes and grilled chicken. I was just waiting on my guests and the green beans. I let the dogs back in, after I had put them out before. As I set the table, "Soul Man" by the Blues Brothers comes on.

"I'm a soul man, I'm a soul man," I sing and dance along ridiculously to the upbeat music. Just as the song is ending I hear the door bell ring. I quickly turn off the music and go to answer the door. My dogs scurry out of sight and into their room, like they were trained, as I open the door with a charming smile.

There stands the love of my life in jeans and a hoodie, his hazel eyes connect with mine as he puts on a dazzling grin... with his arm around someone else.

"Hey!" he says.

"Yap, Yap,"

I hear, what sounds like a very small little dog. I look to his left and see a woman holding a little fluff ball with her

"Hey, come on in," I smile stepping aside to let them in.

As they come in I finally take a moment to look at the beauty next to Sidney. She has blond hair, which upon closer inspection reveals that it's not her true hair color. Beautiful blue eyes, stare at me as if sizing me up, but they are attached to a very pretty face, although heavy with makeup. She is close to Sid's height if not at his height, wearing 4 inch high red pumps which accompanies a formfitting pencil skirt and nice jacket. She looks like a model and it kinda makes me feel shabby in my old sweater, jeans, and wool socks. My immediate thought, "Oh my God, it's Barbie!"

"Caitlin this is Victoria, Victoria this is Caitlin," Sidney says introducing us.

"Nice to meet you," I smile sticking my hand out for her to shake.

"yeah, you too," she says with a fake smile, giving me her hand as though I'm supposed to kiss it like a princess. Ah, I hate wimpy handshakes. Through out the whole little conversation her little Pomeranian barks furiously. I look to the little dog in her arms. It had on a frilly dress, poor dog I thought.

"What a cute little dog, is she a Pomeranian?" I asked, even though I already knew the answer,
"Oh, and I'll take your coats."

"Umm. Yeah, this is Paris," she responded. Handing over her expensive coat exposing a shirt with fruffles on it, yuck. (For those of you that don't know, fruffles are a mix of frills and ruffles) Sid handed me his coat and I hung them neatly on the coat rack.

"Caitlin is a dog trainer," Sidney explained.

"Oh," she said as if looking down on me.

"Yeah, I love it." I said reaching out to let the little dog sniff me. She started growling at me and I chuckled to myself. "Now is that really necessary," I say in a firm voice. She immediately stops and allows me to pet her, but reluctantly.

"So do you like, have a dog too?" Victoria asks.

"Ha, um yeah, I actually have five, would you like to meet them?" I ask politely, I always love showing off my kids.

"I guess," she says in a snobby voice.

I let out a sharp whistle calling the dogs from their room. Just on cue, the 5 dogs trot into the room, causing the little yappy dog to go crazy.

"This is Bran, Maggie, Koda, Hawkeye, and Flash," I smile pointing them all out.

"wow," she says uninterested.

"Umm, okay, so dinner's ready, if we want to eat."

"Sweet, I'm starved!" Sid says.

"Alright guys go lay down," I say to the dogs, who immediately return to their room.

I lead them into my small dining room with the table all laid out.

"Wow, your dinning room is so small compared to ours, right honey?" she says holding Sidney's hand before they sit down.

"Uh, I guess, I don't think ours is that much bigger." he said.

"Oh, he's just being modest. He bought that huge house over there, it cost a lot of money, but it was definitely worth it. We can have like a ton of parties and invite all our friends."she says with a grin. Oh I see where this is going. 'One of those my horse is bigger than yours' things. I like how she didn't say anything about me coming over.

"So I heard you trained some celebrity's dog, who was it?" he asks.

"Christina Aguilera was my most resent. She has a little Yorkie named Cocoa."

"Oh my God, you met Christina Aguilera?!" Victoria asks in shock.

"yeah, she's really nice. She did really well with the training."

"Whoa, that is like so cool. So did you get invited to like celeb parties and stuff?" she asks, now interested in me because I know someone rich and famous.

"Umm, yeah, I guess. I never really go though, I'm not much of a party girl."I shrug.

"Why not that'd be so cool,"she says astonished.

"So Victoria, do you work anywhere?" I ask.

"Umm... no," she giggles as if I said the most outlandish thing,"Sid buys me everything I need."

"Oh, um, that's cool." I say.

'Good Lord, Sid. You're the one that broke it off with me because you thought I was a puck bunny and a gold digger, and now your about to marry one?!' I think.

Dinner continues and I notice Sidney going for thirds on my cooking, while Victoria only has half a chicken breast and a few green beans. When I ask if her food is ok, she responds that she is on a no carb diet.

"So what was that little dance you were doing when I rang the door bell," Sid asks.

"Ugh, you saw that?" I ask feeling my cheeks turn red.

"Yeah,"Sid says trying to get his laughter under control.

"I was listening to the Blues Brothers, you can't help but sing and dance along,"I say trying to defend myself.

Dinner finishes a little later and Victoria starts to complain that she is tired and needs to go home. Sidney, of course, says it was getting late and they needed to get going(it was 8:30).
Before they leave he promises to help me clean up a little while Victoria uses the bathroom, which I know is code for she's going to snoop around. Too bad I don't have anything of any value to you in this house princess.

As soon as she's up stairs Sidney helps me bring the plates into the kitchen.

"So what do you think of her?" he asks nervously.

"Umm... well... she's very pretty and she's adores you." (and your money)

"Yeah, I know. So um, do you have to work tomorrow?"

"Nope, why?"

"Well, cause we have practice tomorrow morning and I know the guys really want to see you again, and everyone else wants to meet you."

"Oh, um, okay. Do they know about what happened," I ask nervously.

"Uh, yeah. After the other day, they knew something was up, so I told them. But don't worry they're sworn to secrecy."

"Ok, umm... Sid?"


"Does Victoria know?"

He turns to look at me.

"No. She doesn't know."

"are you going to tell her?"

"I don't know. Maybe one day. Right now I want to be friends with you and she won't let me near you if she knows what happened."

"Ok. I just wanted to know."

There is a bit of an awkward silence.

"So is it cool if I pick you up at like 8, or is that too early?"he asks changing the subject.

"No that's fine, I'm up at 7 every morning anyway."

"Yeah, those dogs adore you. You really accomplished everything you said you would. Do you have everything you wanted?" He asks.

'no, I don't have you,' I think.

"Umm... yeah for now. I'm a pretty simple girl, so I don't need a lot. I hope to have a family someday, but I'll let fate work that one out."

"yeah, I know what you mean. I really want to have kids, too. You were so good with them the other day."

"Thanks. You'll make a pretty good dad you know. Your awesome with them." Although I knew Sid would be an awesome dad, some how I couldn't picture Victoria as a mom.

"Sidney. Are you ready?" Victoria asks standing in the door frame.

"Yeah, sure. So I'll pick you up at 8?"he responds walking with me to the front door.

"Yup, I can't wait to see the guys again," I answer handing Victoria her coat.

"Alright I'll see ya later, thanks for dinner, it was amazing!" Sid says giving me a hug. His strong arms wrapping around me awakening butterflies in my stomach, wishing he still felt the same way he did 4 years ago.

"Thanks, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye Victoria, it was nice meeting you." I say politely looking around Sidney.

"Oh, yeah you too, bye." she says anxiously. Just as they're about to leave Paris jumps from Victoria's arms and runs toward me.

"Oh, I'm so sorry Paris, how could I forget." I say lifting her up in my arms, "Now you be a good girl for your mom." She gingerly lifts her head up and licks my cheek, before I hand her back to
Victoria, who is standing there looking very jealous.

I watch them walk down the driveway before closing the door and collapsing on the couch. Suddenly all the dogs come running in the living room, sensing that the company is gone. Maggie jumps on the couch next to me.

"Well, I'm glad that's over with." I say aloud.

August 17, 2008 at Sunday, August 17, 2008 , 7 Comments

Creative Commons License
Discovering...Love? by AS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.