Chapter 53: Poker at the Lemieuxs'

"Okay, let's go, let's go, let's go!" I yell getting out of my jeep and opening the door up for the dogs.

I leave them outside and run into the house to go change. I told Sid that I would be at the Lemieux's at 2:00, and according to my clock, it was 2:00 now. Damn golden retriever just had to be stubborn.

I sprint up the stairs, jumping every other step to get to the top and to my bed room. As I approach the door, I kick off my Nike's and strip myself of my old SAR t-shirt. I run to the closet and pick out the nice v-neck purple sweater and dark jeans I had picked out the night before, thank God!

I quickly strip myself of my current clothing and hastily put the new on. I simply throw on my leather boots, being that I had had socks on all day and I didn't have time to shower, ewww. I run into the bathroom and quickly let my hair down from the pony tail it was confined in. I run my hands through my chestnut locks, getting it so it is at least presentable. After washing my face I put on some light make up before running back downstairs again. I glance at the clock, which reads 2:11, before opening the door.

"Shit! Come on guys back in!" I shout out the door before grabbing my keys, phone, and wallet.

I turn around to see Bran by the door watching as the rest of the pack file in the door. After Koda lumbers in, Bran himself follows.

"Thanks guys, I'll be back later,"I say breathlessly running out the door and locking it behind me.

I run into the car and peel out of the driveway. I calm myself down on the drive over to the Lemieux's. I had already met all the adults, but I still had to meet the kids. And their opinions of me mattered too, after all they were a part of Sidney's life.

20 minutes later I pull into the Lemieux's driveway, parking behind Sidney's Range Rover. I take a swig of water from my water bottle, before walking up the steps to get to the door of the huge house. I ring the door bell and wait smoothing any wrinkles out of my outfit.

"Who am I kidding," I murmur to myself, there was nothing I could do now. It is what it is.

The door opens to reveal... Sidney.

"Hey, a little late aren't we?" he asks with a smirk leaning on the door frame.

"Stubborn golden retriever," I sigh.

"Uh huh," he chuckles.

"Hey, I wouldn't be late if a certain someone would have told me there was a lunch to day," I counter with a smile.

"Sidney who's here?" I hear a female voice ask. Natalie comes to the door, looking over Sidney's shoulder at me...

"Caitlin! Oh, I'm so glad you made it!" She smiles at me, "Oh for God's sake Sidney let the poor girl in." she says giving him a playful shove.

He moves out of the way for me to come into the house. She pulls me into a hug.

"How have you been? Are you hungry, did you eat?" she asks pulling away and leading me down the hall way to the kitchen where Mario, Mr. Crosby, and Trina were discussing something.

"Caitlin! Good to see you again!" Mario says greeting me.

"My dear I'm so glad you could make it, the kids have been asking about you," Trina says coming over to give me a hug. These people really liked their hugs, me not so much, but I could handle it.

"Yeah, I'm excited to meet them. I'm really sorry I'm late, I had a session that took longer than expected," I say.

"Don't worry about it, Sid told us that he had forgotten to tell you about lunch. Sometimes it's scary how much he reminds me of his father," Trina sighs patting Mr. Crosby's hand.

"I know what you mean, Mario does the same thing," Nat laughs.

"Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one," I smile looking over at Sid who rolls his eyes.

My gaze drifts back to Mr. Crosby who seems to have a permanent frown on his face when it comes to me. I look back to Mario who seems to be the only one that has picked on Troy Crosby's negativity toward me. He gives me an encouraging smile that makes me think I will be talking to him later.

I smile back with a sigh.

"Alright, come on. I'll introduce you to everyone, they're downstairs," Sid says taking my hand and pulling me toward the basement steps. As I approach the bottom of the stairs, the sound of video games hit me, specifically Wii tennis.

I see five teenagers (Remember we're 4 years ahead) in a magnificent game room, 3 were playing Wii tennis infront of a huge TV and the other two were playing at an air hockey table.

"Guys, if you could take a break for minute, I would like to introduce you to some one," Sid calls out.The kids look over, and immediately stop what they are doing. Apparently curious to meet the new girl Sid brought home.

"Guys this is my girlfriend Caitlin, Caitlin this is Lauren(age 20), Stephanie(18), Austin(17), Alexa(16), and my sister Taylor(17)," he says pointing to everyone.

"Nice to meet you guys,"I smile.

"You too," they all seem to mumble at once.There is a pretty awkward silence between all of us and understandably so.

"Sidney could you come up here for a minute?" I hear Troy call out.

"Yeah, sure, be right up," he says then turns to me," I'll be right back."

He bounds up the carpeted basement floors leaving me alone with everyone.

"Sooo..." I say, trying to break the silence.

"So, what do you do? I mean, do you work?" Lauren asks finally stepping up as the oldest to be the first to ask questions.

"Yeah, I own my own business. I train dogs," I smile.

"Where do you live?"Austin asks.

"I actually live right next door to Sid, I moved in in December."

There is another pause in the conversation and I sigh as my eyes move over the game room. I spot a card table in the corner.

"So do you guys know how to play poker?" I ask.

Everyone looks at me with a smile.

Sid's POV

After going upstairs to tell my Dad about my stats, I head back downstairs. Why he called me up to talk stats was beyond me, I mean I knew he kept up with them. I was just telling him stuff he already knew so that he could provide "constructive criticism,"which normally I didn't mind, but I wanted to be there with Caitlin being that it was her first time meeting the kids.

I walk into the playroom to hear laughing. I turn the corner to see that they have pulled out the big card table and had started a game of poker. Were they really gambling? On closer inspection, I see that instead of poker chips they had various pieces of junk food, glasses of root beer were in front of them.

"Alright, I'll see your pretzel and raise you a Dorrito," Caitlin says with a rod pretzel hanging from her mouth like a cigar, placing her amount in the pot.

"I fold," I hear Alexa say.

"Me too," Taylor agrees.

"That means it's just you and me Austin," Caitlin says looking at him with that wicked smile.

"Alright, you're going down Caitlin," he smiles, "I'll see your Dorrito and raise you an Oreo."

"Looks like I'm going to have a feast tonight," she smiles at Austin.

"Oh please Caitlin," he grins,"3 of a kind nines."

"Your pretty good Mr. Lemieux...but not good enough. 3 of a kind Aces," she grins putting down her cards after Austin does.

"Damn, I thought I had her," he mumbles to himself.

I snicker as Caitlin pops a pretzel in her mouth from the pot.

"Looks like you learned Caitlin's nickname the hard way Austin," I laugh.

"What's her nickname," Stephanie asks.

"All the guys call her 'Ace' because she hardly ever loses a poker game," I laugh.

"Awwww... I knew I should have asked if she had a nickname," Alexa sighs sarcastically.

We all laugh at her comment as footsteps are heard coming down the stairs.

Caitlin's POV

"Caitlin, can I steal you away for a minute," Mario asks as he comes around the corner and into the game room.

"Umm... sure,"I say leaving my place at the poker table.

I follow him up the stairs and to the front door of the house where he hands me my coat.

"I thought we could maybe go for a walk,"he says in reply to the confused look on my face.

"Alright," I say following his lead.

We walk out of the house and onto the street, walking a little ways before he breaks the silence.

"So, how's it going with Sid?" he asks, somewhat uncomfortably.

"It's going really well," I say hesitantly, not really sure how to answer that question.

"I hear he's over at your place a lot and not his own," he smiles not looking at me, but at the road ahead of us.

"Ummm...yeah, he has. Did he tell you that?"I ask almost guilitly.

"No, Colby did," he laughs, "I don't mean to pry, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but are you living together?"

"I...well...we... Ugh, I don't know," I say frustratedly.

"Okay, you don't need to answer I was just curious," he shrugs.

"No, it's not that. I mean I know you are just looking out for Sid because he's like another son to you, but I really don't know. I mean, Beth my friend, keeps commenting on it, but I really don't know. I mean should I ask him to live with me? I've never really asked a guy to live with me, I've always been on my own with my dogs. And the dogs have kind of had their own part in keeping guys away, because they take up so much of my time and my life revolves around them. But Sidney's over all the time, and he does get along so well with the dogs," I say in what seems like one breath.

"Wow! Okay that was a lot of information," Mario says looking at me somewhat astounded.

"Sorry, it's just I haven't had anyone to really talk to about it," I say.

"I understand. You do know that Sid was never really a big fan of dogs. I mean he had a dog, but he was always uneasy around them. Now he seems a little more at ease around them," Mario states.

"Yeah, I know," I say thinking back to when Sidney was hesitant around my dogs, "He flipped out when I told him Sam bit me and that I was keeping him."

"Yes I've heard about that. How is that coming?" Mario asks.

"Really well. I should be able to put him up for adoption soon," I smile.

"That's good, that's good," he sighs, "Caitlin, would you like some advice?"

"Of course," I say looking up at him, after all he is over a foot taller than I am.

"You and Sidney have one thing in common. Your jobs are very important to you. As you well know Sidney's life is hockey, and I don't think he has ever met a girl who's job was just as important to her as hockey was to him. You really love your job, don't you?" he asks me putting his hands in his pockets.

"Yes of course, it's my life!" I say looking at him astounded.

"See, Sid has never met someone like that. Most of the girls he's dated have had jobs that were just a filler, or didn't have one at all. But you, you're independent, much like Sidney is. And when you first started dating, I think that kind of threw Sidney. Every girl he's been with has whined about his hockey schedule and complained when he's had to tend to his fans,"he begins.

"But that's part of Sid. I know that, I realize that I have to sacrifice some things to be with him," I shrug.

"See, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Sidney never has had a girl like that. And not only that, but he has had to over come some things too, like his uneasiness around dogs. Just like girls have to accept that hockey is Sidney, Sidney has had to accept that dogs are you. And I think that gives you two a strong bond. And if he is spending as much time at your house as the guys say he is. I don't see any problem with you living together," he concludes as we turn around and head back to the house.

"But what about his parents. I mean, Trina seems to like me, but I don't think Mr. Crosby is a big fan of me," I sigh.

"You have to understand, that Troy Crosby is very protective of his son and only wants what's best for him. He'll warm up to you eventually, just give it time. I think as he learns more about you, he will see what an amazing young woman you are," Mario replies as we approach the driveway.

"Thanks Mario, that really means a lot," I say giving him a hug.

"My pleasure, Ace," he smiles.

"Colby told you about that too, huh?"I ask with a guilty grin as we walk into the house.

"Actually Max did," he laughs.

"Yes!" I say throwing my hands up in the air as Gonchar's slap shot finds the back of the net. I give Taylor a high five. The Pens were up against the Bruins 2-1, with 4 minutes left in the third. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mr. Crosby look over at me. I cheer with the rest of the crowd, refusing to give into his stare and look over.

The Penguins finish the game 2-1 against the Bruins, with Tyler Kennedy just missing the empty net. Poor TK, he'd be hearing about that one for the next week. I make my way down with the Crosbys to the locker room to wait for Sid. For once he's not the only one that is last. I see Laura Fleury waiting for a certain goalie.

"Well if it isn't Mrs. Fleury," I smile coming to greet her.

"Caitlin! Where have you been?" she asks in her adorable french accent.

"Working like crazy," I sigh giving her a hug.

"We have missed you around the box, it's just not the same trash talking the other team when you aren't there. We miss your sarcasm," she smiles.

"Awww... I'm sure that you guys are doing well with out me," I laugh, as I see Sid and Flower walk out of locker room in suits, "Well, well,well aren't we looking spiffy."

The boys quickly strike a pose, being that nobody was around but their girls and Sid's parents. This of course, causes everyone, but a certain father to erupt in laughter. Sid lets out a high pitched laugh and walks over to me giving me a hug.

"Good game. Great power play," I say giving him a quick kiss.

"Thanks, not too much passing?" he asks walking over with me to his parents.

"Eh, you could do with out a few and make them a little cleaner, but better than last game," I say surprised, he didn't often ask my opinion. I mean he did sometimes, but not until I blurted it out when we watching replays on TV.

"Good game Sidney," his father says giving him a hug, "But the passing was a little sloppy."

"So I've heard," Sidney says grinning down at me. Mr. Crosby looks at him confused for a moment, but then looks at me with eyebrows raised a little shocked.

"Good job Sid," Trina and Taylor say almost at the same time before giving him a hug. His mom giving him a kiss on the cheek.

"Alright, you ready to leave?" he asks, "I'm sure Koda is ready to go lay outside."

I smile, no question about it, I'm head over heels in love with Sidney Crosby.

"Yeah, sure," I reply looking into his tired eyes.

"Well, I guess we'll see you guys tomorrow," Sid says giving his mom another hug.

"Of course dear. Caitlin are you coming to practice?" Trina asks.

"No, I wish I could but my only session is at 9:30, but if I have time afterwards I might stop in," I smile giving her a hug.

"She's gone a little to long without pranking Army. I know she and Flower have something in the works, but I don't know what," Sid says looking at me with a grin.

"I don't know what you're talking about," I grin back wickedly.

"Umm... before you go can I talk to you a minute Caitlin," Taylor asks.

"Yeah sure," I say.

"I'll meet you in the car," Sid says.

I walk a little ways away down the hall with Taylor, she tucks her hair behind her hair nervously. We stop a little ways off.

"What's up Taylor? Is everything ok?" I ask her.

"Well, it's just about dinner tomorrow," she begins not meeting my eyes, but instead looking at her feet.

"Yeah?" I ask.

"Well, it's just... I..." she hesitates.

"What is it Taylor?" I ask gently.

"Well... I..." she sighs, "I'm not very comfortable around dogs."

"That's it?" I ask with a smirk.

"Well yeah. I mean, yeah I have my own dog and I don't have a problem with little dogs, it's just, big dogs... well... they intimidate me,"she says still not meeting my gaze.

"You know Taylor," I sigh walking back to the door with her, "Your brother wasn't always a big fan of dogs. I think I have the perfect dog for you to meet. I promise, everything will be fine, no worries. Don't lose sleep over it."

"Thanks, it just I got a little worried when you said that you had six dogs. And I saw your one
dog on TV."

"No worries Taylor. You'll be fine tomorrow, just don't think about it," I say as we walk out the
door, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Bye Caitlin, and thanks for listening,"she says walking over to the Crosby's car.

"No problem," I say getting into Sid's car.

I slip in, putting my seatbelt on.

"Well, what was that all about?" he asks.

"Eh, girl stuff," I smile.

"Not boy stuff is it?" he asks looking over a me after pulling out of the parking lot.

"Sidney, first of all your sister is 17, I'm sure she is thinking about boys now, probably has been for years. And second of all, no, it wasn't," I smile.

"What was it about?"

"Nothing. Let's just say she has learned a thing or two from her brother," I say looking out the

He looks over at me confused, but drops the subject.

Sid's POV

It was really bugging me what Caitlin and Taylor talked about. Oh well, I guess I'll just ask Taylor tomorrow, knowing that I would be getting nothing out of Caitlin. She did fabulously at the Lemieux's, I'm pretty sure she had everyone's heart, although Dad did seem a little quiet around her. But I wasn't surprised at all that she got along so well with everyone, she and Taylor especially seemed to become fast friends. She must be tired. She had been up early like always then went to work, rushed to the Lemieux's, and when we got home... I mean back to her house... she was doing more planning for Beth's party, and then she went to the game. How does she do it?

I pull my shirt out of my pants and unbutton it before going to the bathroom to take a fast shower, just to get the gel out of my hair. With in a few minutes I step out of the shower and step into my boxers before walking out of the bathroom to Caitlin just coming in. She heads into the bathroom and comes out moments later changed into one of my old t shirts. God she looked hot, and really tired.

I crawl into bed at the same time she does, with a heavy sigh. I pull her into me and kiss her sweetly on the lips. I was never more content than I was at times like these, with her in my arms quickly falling asleep, no words needing to be said.

"I love you," she whispers before her dark brown eyes close and she snuggles deeper into my chest.

"Love you too, babe," I whisper back allowing my own eyes to close.

April 20, 2009 at Monday, April 20, 2009 , 6 Comments

Chapter 52: Meet the Parents

Compared to recent chapters, this is a pretty short one. But it's done. Sorry for all the skipping around between Sid's POV and Caitlin's, I apologize in advance if it's confusing.

Should I ask him to live with me? I mean, I just assume that we would live at my house being that we basically were, but would his parents approve? I haven't even met them yet and Sidney and I were living together, unofficially of course. I know my parents wouldn't have any trouble with that. As much as I loved my mom she was constantly reminding me that I was 24, and that she was 22 when she had me, so I should at least be married now. It didn't help any that Anna had already been married for 3 years with 2 kids and Beth was married for 2 years with a baby on the way. Anna is only a year older than I am, and Beth is year younger. And with the baby shower this week, that was bound to be brought up again.

I sigh, looking over my shoulder at the man sleeping next to me. His arm was limply hanging over my waist and his breathing was steady. I had seen him multiply times with kids and it made my heart melt. In my mind, there is not much that is sexier then men with kids. And when Sid was with kids, it was a total turn on. He would make a great Dad someday. I should probably keep him away from my mom around the baby shower, other wise she would start naming our kids. I had always liked the name...

'Whoa girl, getting a little ahead of your self there,'I think.

However, even thinking that I still fell asleep picturing Sid in the drive way teaching little kids (with big brown eyes like mine and curly hair like Sidney's) to shoot a puck into the net.

Sid's POV

'What time was it? 20 after 7. That means Flash will be up here in awhile,' I think waking up.

I yawn and look over at the beauty sleeping next to me. She looks so peaceful when she sleeps, she didn't have anything to worry about. Lately she had been really busy and under some stress. She had been working in overdrive at work trying to get everything done, she also had Beth's shower that she was helping plan, and even though she wouldn't admit it, I knew she was really nervous about meeting my parents.

And something else was on her mind. Ever since Beth came over yesterday, it seemed like she was trying to make some sort of decision.

My thoughts are interrupted by a faint jingle of metal getting louder as it approaches the room. It stops for a minute before turning to Caitlin's side of the bed, the white tip of a tail bobbing up and down. I see Flash's head pop up as he jumps his front paws onto the bed.

"Morning Flash," I whisper.

His stare moves over to me as his tail begins to wag.

"Do you need out?" I ask in a hushed whisper.

His ears perk up at my words, his tail wagging faster.

"Alright Flash, let's get up," I sigh. I carefully get off the bed, so as not to wake Caitlin, and walk down stairs with Flash following behind. At the bottom of the step, the rest of the dogs are waiting for me with wagging tails. I mutter a

"Good morning," as my hand passes over some heads.

"Alright, outside everyone," I say opening the door and letting them run past me. I go into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. One thing about living here was that I didn't need an alarm clock. I was set, Flash came in every morning at about 7:30, 8 o'clock at the latest.

Living here? Why did I think that? I'm not living here... am I? Should I? I mean we have been really close and I definitely have been thinking about, due in part to the guys prodding me about it, but should I ask? It's not my house it's hers... and we always stayed here so it would be just pointless to move all her stuff and the dogs to my house across the lawn. Especially when a lot of my stuff was already here. I could keep the house for when my parents came, or I could probably put my furniture in storage somewhere if we ever needed it again. Like say when we had kids...WHOA!!!

"Where did that come from!" I say out loud to myself.

I shake my head and make my way back upstairs to wake Caitlin up, yet I can't shake the image of Caitlin rounding up a house full of kids, with curly brown hair like mine and big brown eyes that mirrored hers, out of my mind.

Caitlin's POV

"Ok, how about this one?" I ask turning out of my closet to show the dress I had picked out... ok the 5th dress I picked out. I was meeting Sid's parents this evening. There wasn't a game and they came in this morning. Sid and I agreed that we should have dinner with them tonight.

Hopefully if everything goes well, they could come to our house for ... I mean my house... so I could make them dinner. But let's take this one step at a time, what if they don't like me?

"Caitlin, would you just let me pick one for you?" Beth asks, sighing from her resting position on the bed. She agreed, after 15 minutes of begging to help me pick out what I was going to wear tonight. She was reading a magazine that she had found next to the bed and Bran was next to her, his head resting on her lap.

"Why? What's wrong with this dress?"

"It's not formal enough. I think you keep forgetting you are not just meeting your boyfriends parents you are also meeting Sidney Crosby's parents. Now when you stopped by the first time you went to a game you looked fabulous! Why can't you pick something like that out again?"

"Because Bran picked it out," I groan, falling onto the bed.

"And what does that tell you?"she sighs brushing some hair out of my eyes.

"That my fashion sense has gone to the dogs," I groan putting a pillow over my face, "Help Me!"

"You should have just asked in the first place. Ok, what do we have?" she says struggling to get off the bed and then waddling over to the closet. "Oh my God! Sid has clothes in here?!"

"Yeah... so..." I ask, my face still in the pillow. I knew what was coming...

"You two are living together, would you just face the music! I mean really Caitlin, you are a successful business women, witty, clever, and smart. But my dear, you have the thickest skull," she laughs from inside my closet.

"Just pick something out for me to wear," I groan.

"Alright, alright. Try this," she says handing me a dress.

My eyes brighten as she hands me my 'little black dress' why hadn't I though of this before?!

"Oh, and before I leave. Wear these with it," she says handing me a pair of purple pumps.

"Alright, I gotta go. Zach is probably wondering where I am. Call me tomorrow and tell me how everything goes. Good Luck!" she shouts over her shoulder.

"Thanks," I mumble holding the dress in front of me to check it out.

Back to Sid's POV

"Caitlin?! Are you ready to go?"I call up the stairs to our...her bedroom.

"Yeah, in a minute. Can you help me zip my dress though?"I hear her call down.

I sigh and make my way upstairs to the bedroom. She walks out of the bathroom in a one shoulder black dress that hits just an inch or two above her knee. Her hair was swept up into a french braids on each side, which joined together to form a semi messy bun. With her one shoulder exposed you could see her collar bone, making me want to take her right there. And if that wasn't enough, she has on high heeled purple shoes that make her legs look miles long. And those dark brown eyes looked incredibly sexy with dark navy shadow making them pop under the thick dark lashes.

"Sid, the zipper please?" I hear her say, breaking me out of my trance.

"Oh, right," I say moving around her to zip up the back of her dress. My hand moves up her back with the zipper. She begins to walk away, but I put my arms around her waist stopping her. I pull her back against me.

"Sidney, we have to go," she pleads.

"Stop worrying," I say as I feel the tension in her body, "You look beautiful." I continue, allowing my self a small indulgence by pressing my lips to her smooth shoulder. I feel her melt into me a little bit.

"Alright let's go," I say suddenly stepping away, knowing that I'm leaving her wanting more. She turns around and looks at me with heat lusty eyes that scream seduction.

"You're mean," she smiles coyly looking at my lips and then back to meet my eyes with her molten chocolate ones. I grin giving in just a little bit to press my lips against her soft ones. My mouth works over hers slowly, wanting to have her want me right here, right now. I pull away and she looks at me through half raised lashes. She bites her lower lip, a sign that I have accomplished what I set out to do. I snicker and bend down to whisper in her ear in a low voice,

"And I'll have you know that I plan to unzip that dress later tonight."

"Sidney," I hear her moan as her hand come up to my neck.
I grin, stepping away and watch as a chill goes down her back.

"Well we should probably get going," I sigh, looking at my watch.

"You are horrible! Do you know how much I want you right now?" she asks with a glare and a siren like smile.

"How bout you show me when we get home?" I say with a grin as I stand in the door way.
She walks up to me, her hips with an extra sway from her heels. She pulls on my tie, forcing my head down to meet her lips.

"Oh, I plan to Crosby," she purrs her hot breath tickling my ear as she places a kiss on my jaw.

I grin as she walks by and down the stairs to get her coat. We walk out the door and to the car.

On our way to the restaurant, I notice she gets more and more nervous the closer we approach. She gnaws on her lower lip like she does when she's nervous and tucks nonexistent strands of hair behind her ears. I pull into the small Italian restaurant parking lot and I see her take a shaky breath in. I get out of the car and go around to her side to open the door for her. She gets out of the car and onto the sidewalk. I see her smooth her dress and take her lip into her mouth again, her eyes tell me that they thinking as she has a distant look on her face. I smile out how nervous she is, I knew she wanted to make a good impression.

I gently place my hand on the small of her back making her jump nervously. I marvel at how nervous she is. She could handle an aggressive Rottweiler, make stitches seem as though they were just scratches, pull frozen bodies from an avalanche site, and walk down the red carpet. Yet here, meeting my parents, she was the most nervous I think I had ever seen her, and probably ever will for that matter. I lean into her, my lips brushing her ear.

"Calm down. They're going to love you," I whisper reassuringly.

She looks up at me, her chocolate eyes that always reflect her smile now hold worry and nervousness.
You don’t know that. They could see me as a puck bunny, or a slut, or…”she begins.
I put a hand over her mouth to silence her.

"They will love you because I do. Besides they already met Victoria, you’re a shoe in,” I grin at her, “Okay?”

All I get is a nod in response. I smile taking my hand off her mouth.

"Are you ready?"

She takes in a long breath before letting it out in a heavy sigh. I take her strong hand in mine and let my fingers fall in a line with hers. I bend down to her level and lightly kiss her cheek.

“Just be yourself,”I whisper, before leading her into the restaurant. I spot my Mom and Dad at a small table in the corner and walk over.

"Mom, Dad, this is Caitlin,” I say looking at Caitlin as she puts on a smile and my parents stand. If I didn't know her better, I would think that it was a genuine smile. But it wasn't as wide and infectious as normal, it held uncertainty and worry. I place my hand on the small of her back for support.

“Hello Mr. & Mrs. Crosby,”she says smoothly, holding out her hand for them to shake. With my hand against her back I can feel that she is holding her breath, waiting for their response.

Caitlin's POV

"Hello there Caitlin. I must say I feel as though I already know you, Sid has told us so much about you,"Mrs. Crosby says ignoring my hand and pulling her me into a hug.

I let out a sigh of relief and grin as she pulls away to look at me.

"Really?" I say raising my one eye brow and looking at Sidney. He just grins at me.

"Mr. Crosby, it's nice to meet you," I say holding out my hand with a genuine smile. That hug had broken the ice between Sidney's mom and I, and now I had my confidence back.

"You too Caitlin," he smiles, but I don't feel the same welcoming energy present as I did with Mrs. Crosby. As a trainer I could feel that he was fairly skeptical about me, but I figured that was understandable, especially after Sid's engagement to Victoria.

"Well let's sit down and eat shall we," Sidney says motioning for us to sit down.

We do as he instructs and take our seats looking over the menu.

"So have either of you been here before?"Mrs. Crosby asks.

"Actually yeah, I have had a few clients meet up with me here. I would recommend basically everything on the menu; however, my personal favorite is the lasagna," I say doing a once over on the menu, even though I already know what I want.

"That sounds good, I think I'll give it a try, if you don't mind of course," Mrs. Crosby says.

"Mrs. Crosby, I wouldn't have recommended it if I didn't think you should get it," I laugh suppressing my usual friendly sarcastic comment. I don't think they know me well enough to get my sarcastic jokes quite yet.

"Caitlin, please call me Trina," she smiles.

I smile back, not quite sure what to say.

"So Caitlin, Sid tells us you run your own dog training business," Mr. Crosby says starting his investigation of my character that I knew was bound to occur, "What's that like?"

"Well, for me personally, I love my job. I don't think there is anything better for me than working all day with dogs. But as for the training it's self, I follow some of Cesar Millan's teachings and I often use my pack of dogs to help me with extreme cases. I stay calm an use an assertive energy to express my dominance. I get hurt a lot less often that way."

"Which doesn't always work," Sid says with a laugh.

"Why's that?"Trina asks.

"Well... sometimes, especially if I don't have Bran with me, some dogs don't take well to being submissive."

"Bran? Is he the dog that was on TV with you?" Mr. Crosby asks.

"Yeah, he's basically my partner."

"Interesting..."he says looking me in the eye as the food comes. Its if he wants me to cower in
fear, but I'm not that kind of girl.

The dinner continues with Mr. Crosby grilling me some more on my life. Where I grew up, where I went to school, my family, my life now... etc.

"That was excellent food, thank you for recommending that lasagna," Trina says giving me a hug by the car as we leave the restaurant.

"Mom, Dad you should come to Caitlin's house for dinner?" Sidney asks giving her a hug, "She is an amazing cook."

"Sidney Patrick, you can not invite people over to dinner at another person's house," his mother says scolding. I can't help but snicker at the scene playing out in front of me.

"No, no that's fine. I would love to have you two come over for dinner. I think we'll be a little preoccupied tomorrow being that there is a game, but if you wanted to come for dinner on Friday, I think that could be arranged," I smile as comes to stand next to me.

"Oh, that would be wonderful. We'll be there," Trina smiles and I see Mr. Crosby look at me with a frown. I really don't think he has sent a genuine smile my way all night.

"Great, we'll see you tomorrow at the Lemieux's," Sid says as his parents get in their car. I look at him in surprise before we too get in Sid's Range Rover.

"We're going to the Lemieux's tomorrow?" I ask.

"Yeah, for lunch. I told you that," he says putting the key in the ignition.

"No, hun you didn't," I sigh.

"Yeah I did, Mario told me at practice and then I called you after... wait. Oh shit, babe I'm sorry, I meant to call you after practice but I guess I kinda got preoccupied with picking my parents up at the airport," he says looking at me guiltily.

"That's ok. But when is the lunch?" I ask.

"Umm... I think it's at 12:30," he says.

"Hmm... if you would have called me, I could have blocked the time off and left early, but I have appointments until 1:30."

"Oh, I was planning on introducing you to the rest of the lemiux's and to my sister, but..." he says looking very disappointed.

"Well, I can come over right after. I mean I'll drop the dogs off at home and change really fast, and head over. I'll miss the lunch part but you don't have to be home until what like 3 - 3:30 for your nap," I say figuring it all out in my head.

"That sounds ok. I'll just tell them you had to work," he shugs.

As we arrive home, Sid goes upstairs to change as I let out the dogs, luckily I had fed them before we left.

After letting them in I head upstairs myself, closing the bedroom door behind me kicking my shoes off in the corner. I spy Sidney by the closet taking hanging up his tie, the buttons of his dress shirt were undone so that I could see his white t shirt underneath. I walk up to him, wrapping my arms around his middle.

"Well hello there," he grins down at me, as I stand on my toes to kiss his lips.

"Hey," I reply between kisses, "I believe you promised to help me get that darn zipper down."

"That I did," he says huskily before bringing his mouth down on mine.

April 13, 2009 at Monday, April 13, 2009 , 5 Comments

Chapter 51: Whipped Cream

After Sid left for the road trip I got straight to work. I was definitely not bored. The dogs and I went in to the office at 9:30 and worked with six separate cases that day. Not six different dogs, six cases. Some people that came in had trouble with more than one dog, usually two, but today one was a pack of 4 dogs. So my total dog count came to 11. I worked with each case for at least an hour, luckily 4 of the six cases were just basic obedience. After finishing all my clients, I worked with Sam for about 2 hours. He was doing so much better from when I first met him. He was a pretty stable dog, and I hoped with in the next few weeks he would be able to be put up for adoption. By the time I was finished with dog training, it was 8:30. I took the dogs home and made myself a simple pasta dinner and fed them as well. After they were done eating, Bran and I went back to the office to pick up more of the mountainous pile of manila folders, folders that contained different past, present, and future cases and other miscellaneous subjects. Bran and I got home at 10:17 that night.

I walk into the house juggling folders and mail. Usually I'm greeted by my pack, but they just look at me from their claimed spots in the living room and wag their tails. Apparently it was getting late, because they were getting lazy. I had left on the TV, because I knew at least Flash would be entertained and when you had a dog that was as smart as Flash, you needed to keep them entertained with something.

"Don't get up on my account," I mumble, receiving tail wags as I walk past the living room and into my study.

I drop the folders on the desk, just in time for the phone to ring.

"Hello?" I ask, walking back out to the front door.

"Hey, babe. How's your day going?" I hear a cheery voice ask.

"If the time could just stop for like 5 hour, I might get caught up on some paper work," I grumble.

"Busy day, eh?" I can hear him smile into the phone.

"Yeah, hold on a sec," I say holding the phone away from my face and covering the mouth piece. I let a short loud whistle, "Come on you lazy butts, last outs!" I call.

"Sorry, it's last..." I begin as dogs zip past me out the door that I'm holding open.

"... outs, I heard," Sid laughs from the other end.

"So how's Tampa Bay this time of year?" I ask.

"Honestly, I don't really know. Once we got here we went straight to practice, and then I had interviews and I analyzed some tape. By the time I went to the hotel it was pretty dark outside. But from what I've see in the dark, it's a breezy 75 degrees."

"Ugh, that sound really good right now, any hotter though and it's too hot," I say thinking of the sunny Florida beach.

"Yeah, well, don't worry. I'm probably seeing as much of Florida as you are, we don't really have time to relax."

"That sucks with the beach right there, that's just cruel temptation."

"Eh, like you said it's March, 75 is just a bit too warm still," he says,"So how was work? I'm not going to come home and find you with thread in you and a new dog, am I?"

"No, but who knows I still have 5 days with out you," I laugh into the phone.

"Try not to get hurt. I really don't like coming home to see that you have 9 stitches in your arm," he says clearly worried.

"I'll try, and how bout you try that too, just because you're a hockey player doesn't mean I like you coming home with stitches either. Although scars are kinda sexy," I smirk.

"Stop that!"

"Stop what?" I mock, smiling.

"Using that voice. It's sexy as hell and I can't reach you from Florida," Sid whines.

"Ha, sorry, Love," I yawn.

"Alright, I'll let you go, sounds like you're just as tired as I am," he yawns back.

"Yeah, well, I can't really go to bed yet," I say turning on the coffee machine.

"Is that the coffee machine I just heard? You preparing for a long night?" he asks.

"Yeah, I have a lot of paper work to do," I sigh.

"Alright, well don't stay up too late."

"Yes Dad. Don't worry, I don't have to be in the office until 10:30, and my boyfriend isn't here to wake me up at 7 in the morning," I smile.

"Flash would have got you up at 7:30 anyways," he retorts, "Oh and before I forget. I talked to my parents and they are coming down on Wednesday."

"Okay, that's fine. Just remember Beth has her baby shower on Saturday."

"Oh right, I forgot. We can plan around that."

"I'll let you get some sleep, call me when your done with practice tomorrow."

"Will do. Night, babe. I love you," I hear him yawn yet again.

"Love you too Sid," I smile hanging up the phone. I never get tired of him saying those three words, they still give me butterflies when he says them, and they probably always will.

Sid's POV

Finally after beating the Lightning 5-2 and winning in a shoot out against the Devils, I was home. Well, almost home. I was on the road driving home, or rather to Caitlin's house. Why was I calling that home now? I didn't live there, at least not technically, although the guys insisted that if I spent over half my time at her house, which I did, Caitlin and I should just move in together. But what if it was too soon? I mean, it's only been 2 months, at least officially.

I pull into her drive way and step out of my car into the cool Pittsburgh March air. I look up to see six dogs running my way, the majority of them over 50 pounds. I smile as I'm greeted by wagging tails and tongues licking my hands. I smirk at the fact that before I started being around Caitlin I was nervous around dogs. Not to say that I wasn't now, but I was certainly more at ease with them, especially these dogs. I was even warming up to Sam, until recently I wouldn't even touch him except for a pat on the head in fear of being bitten. But how can you live with a dog trainer, specifically Caitlin and be afraid of dogs. You just couldn't.

I make my way to the front door following the group of dogs to be greeted by the sound of music. Not as in the movie, but the literal music. Banana Pancakes had just switched over to Do you Believe in Magic?, she must have her iPod on shuffle.

I walk into the house to be greeted by a heavenly sweet smell. Cookies? Or was that Cake?

"Hello?" I call over the music setting my bag down by the door, and kicking my shoes off into the corner, "Anyone home?"

"Hey stranger," I hear her say from the kitchen door way.

I look over to her, she has that gorgeous smile on her face as she walks toward me from the kitchen. She has on worn jeans and one of her old college shirts covered with smudges of flour. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun. She laughs as she slides across the hard wood floor on her wool socks and into my arms. She had gained back most of the weight back that she had lost when she went on the rescue mission, and her soft curves fit into me perfectly.

"I missed you," I mumble into her neck, her citrus scent clogging my brain.

"I missed you too. You boys played great!" she laughs.

I pull out of the hug to see those dark chocolate brown eyes smiling up at me. I can't help but bring my lips down to meet her tempting ones. I feel her smile into the kiss, before pulling away.

"Great shoot out goal by the way," she grins.

"Thanks. What are you baking?"I say taking off my jacket.

"Cake. I'm testing out different recipes for Beth's baby shower next weekend," she smiles returning to the kitchen.

"Well, what have you come up with so far?"

"Umm... that one is chocolate with a butter cream icing, the next is a vanilla with a fluffy white icing, the third is marble with a chocolate butter cream icing, and the last is angel food with whipped cream for icing," she says point to them with a spatula, "Beth's coming over in an hour to try them out."

"Why does that one have a piece missing from it?" I grin pointing to the chocolate cake.

"Because I got impatient," she grins from the sink.

"And hungry," I laugh.

"Yeah well, I'm only human. And I'm a damn good baker if I do say so myself," she says taking a finger full of whipped cream from a bowl before putting it in the refrigerator. I watch as she puts her finger in her mouth licking the cream off. That was one lucky finger.

"You're a good cook too," I swallow, not taking my eyes from her mouth.

"Thanks," she laughs, "But don't ever ask me to make toast. I can't. It either turns out bread or charcoal."

"You have whipped cream on your face," I smile, walking over to her.

"What? Where?" she asks her hands coming to her face.

"Right here," I whisper huskily, before bending down to lick the corner of her mouth. I go to move my head, but I feel her arms snake around my neck, pulling me back down to her mouth. I chuckle before kissing her mouth. Her fingers play with the hair curling at my next as she presses her body into mine. My hands come to her waist, pulling her in as close as possible. She moans into my mouth as I deepen the kiss, her tongue fighting mine for dominance.

"I missed you," I mumble against her lips.

"I missed you too," she smiles as I pull away.

"My bed was empty, it was weird. I've never really missed having someone in my bed," I admit to her.

"I can't really say the same. I'm sure if you asked Colby he would have snuggled in with you," she grins.

"Ha, ha. Very Funny, the scary part is that's true," I say pulling her into me again, "It better have been the dogs on my side of the bed."

"Sorry to disappoint, but I got a new guy while you were gone," she smiles sarcastically."You better not have. You're all mine," I growl capturing her mouth with mine.

Caitlin's POV

Good Lord did I miss those lips, I think as he kisses me. Before we can get too far, I hear Flash bark before the other five join in.

"Beth's here," I murmur, pulling away from Sid.

"And?" he asks, his mouth against my neck.

"Sidney," I groan, unable to stop myself from threading my fingers through his curly hair.

I hear the door open, and suddenly I can no longer feel his lips on me, allowing my brain to switch back on. I clear my throat and walk out of the kitchen to greet her

"Hey Mommy, how's the baby?" I ask Beth, giving her a 'hug', which is a close to impossible task being that she's pretty big now.

"We're hanging in there. But if I get any bigger, I'm going to run out of clothes," she sighs.

I turn to the kitchen to see Sid smiling at me from the doorway.

"Hi Sid," Beth says looking around me and waving to Sid, "Good game the other night."

"Thanks Beth. I'll let you two ladies eat your cake, I'm going to go take a nap," he says kissing me cheek as he walks by me and up the stairs.

"Alright, sleep well. Any suggestions for dinner?" I call after him.

"What ever you make will be great," he throws over his shoulder walking up the stairs with Maggie following behind him.

"Well that was helpful," I murmur.

"Wow!" Beth says laughing at me.

"Wow what?!" I ask cutting a piece of vanilla cake and putting it in front of her on the table.

"Wow, you two are really serious huh?" she says picking up her fork.

"What are you talking about?" I ask taking a bite.

"Mmm... this is good," she says taking a bite, "I mean. Asking him what he wants for dinner. He comes to your house all the time. He's so comfortable around the dogs, I mean come on, Maggie followed him upstairs to take a nap."

"Well, it took a little while to get him so comfortable around them and so what if he comes to the house?" I ask cutting another piece of cake, "Do you want milk?"

"Yes please," she says finishing her cake, "Cait, you are blind! Has he even been home yet?"

"No," I say taking a sip of milk.

"Cait! He's here all the time. You guys are living with each other," she smiles.

"What?! No we're not, he has his own house," I snort at her comment.

"Tell me this. Does he sleep here, does he eat here? Where does he go when he comes home from a road trip or hockey practice?" she says taking a bite of the angel food, " I like the other cake better."

"Well...he..." I hesitate.

"Cait?" Beth draws out.

"Here," I admit with a sigh.

"Exactly. Face it girl, you guys are living together," she smiles, "This is it! The one with marble, God this is good!"

"Thanks," I say a little stunned.

I hadn't thought about it before, but Sid and I were living together. When I did laundry it wasn't just mine any more. His boxers mingled with my underwear in the dresser. His shirts and ties accompanied my shirts and sweaters in the closet. My medicine cabinet held a man's razor and shaving cream. And when he was gone on a trip, I snuggled into his pillow with his hoodie on, inorder to take in his spicy scent. Not to mention the hockey bag that was thrown in the laundry room.It has only been a few months and we were already living together. But it seemed so natural. It just seemed right that he was there when I got home from work. I got excited when I knew he was coming home. He knew my schedule, and I knew his. And most importantly, he was almost completely accustomed to having six dogs around now. I could see that he was more relaxed now when the dogs joined him in the living room. He was even warming up to Sam. But what surprised me the most was that he caught on to their schedule too. He knew when they went out now, and he didn't hesitate to let them out himself. When he let the dogs out to let me sleep in, that was when I knew everything was going to work out. And now he was sleeping in my bed with a grey hound...

"Caitlin! Girl you are seriously spacing out," Beth laughs.

"Sorry just thinking. What did you say?"

April 06, 2009 at Monday, April 06, 2009 , 6 Comments

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