Epilogue: Discovered Love

“Ruff, ruff”

I let out a small groan, turning over in bed.

“Ruff, ruff…”

“Flash, please, 5 more minutes,” I mumble into the pillow, burrowing my head further into it’s fluffiness.

“Arf!” he lets out urgently.

“Ok, ok. I’m up,” I groan, sitting up in bed and stretching the stiffness out of my back, I needed to get downstairs and let everyone out.

Suddenly the door opens and Sid stands wide-eyed, looking at me.

“NO!” he whisper yells, “Go back to bed!”

“What? Why? It’s already 8:30. The dogs need out!” I say, a sleepy haze still clouding my mind.

“Babe, go back to bed or you’ll spoil it.”

“Spoil what?” I ask, clearly confused. He should know better than to do this to me when I first wake up.

I watch as he pokes his head back out the door and down the stairs, before turning back to me and shutting the door.

“Your Mother’s Day surprise,” he sighs, coming over to the bed with me. He lays down pulling me by the hips into him.

“A surprise, hmm?!” I smile up at him, kissing the underside of his chin as his hands wander up from my hips and under my tank top, “What kind of surprise?”

“The kids have been working all morning to make you breakfast in bed,” he replies placing kisses along my collar bone, making his way up my neck before, whispering in my ear, “… but you didn’t hear it from me.”

“Hear what from you?” I smile coyly, bringing my hand to his neck to guide his lips to mine for a steamy morning kiss.

I smile as his hands trace up my sides and his tongue glides over my bottom lip, asking to be let in. I let out a slight giggle before letting him in, my fingers coming to play with his short hair as my tongue tangles with his. He smiles pulling away, kissing the corner of my mouth.

“Exactly. The dogs have already been out; I don’t know why Flash feels the need…”he shakes his head.

“Because he thinks I should be up and because he’s 14, his bladder isn’t what it used to be,” I chuckle patting the spot next to me so that Flash will jump up. He manages to heave himself and plops down next to me.

“I’ll be right back, your breakfast should be almost done. Pretend that you’re asleep,” he whispers before, kissing my cheek and walking back out of the room.

I just chuckle as I lay back down in our bed, stroking Flash’s thin fur. It had acquired a lot more gray in the past 10 years, but he wasn’t the only one. Flash was getting up their in his old age, but he was still our alarm clock and helped keep everyone in line. Suddenly I hear a sharp whistle sound from down stairs, causing Flash to perk up his ears. He looks back to me, as if asking permission.

“Go on,” I smile, before he jumps off the bed and scampers down the stairs to find the whistler.

It seemed like the last 10 years had flown by. In case there was any doubt, I did say yes to Sid’s proposal. We would be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this August 17th. We saw no point in waiting until the next year for the off-season. After being engaged 3 months, we were married in Nova Scotia, in Sid’s hometown. It was a small quiet ceremony, just our family and a few close friends. In those 10 years our family had grown in size, in kids, canines, and other animals.

Brenna would be celebrating her 10th birthday in 2 days. True to what I told Sid, she is a soccer player. Although she plays hockey in the winter and is, of course, good at it, she was a soccer champ at only 10. Her wavy long dark hair was almost always pulled back into a ponytail, and her big brown eyes were like kryptonite to her Dad. She was Daddy’s little girl and often fought Maggie for the space next to him on the couch when he watched hockey games.

Connor James is the spitting image of his father. At 8, he was already known as a hockey star on his peewee team, sporting number 78 and playing center. He is still in the stage where Dad is the best thing in the world. He says he’s going to grow up and be the best player in the NHL, just like his Dad. He is the only one that had eyes like his Sidney’s, they were the shape of mine, but the ever changing hazel color of Sidney’s and he keeps his curly dark hair cropped short just like his Dad.

Christopher Marc had just turned 7, he and Connor are so close in age they confused as twins sometimes. But unlike Connor, Chris has dark brown eyes and keeps his dark hair long enough so that it curls at the ends. The boys both play on the same hockey team. Chris plays the defensive position and wears the number of his namesake, 58. He loved when Kris Letang came to visit, which was quite often being that the 38-year-old defensemen still played for the Penguins and lived only 10 minutes away.

After Chris was born, we thought that would be it. Then 4 years ago, Brian Patrick was born, at age 4, he is already better on his skates than his mom. But he is Mommy’s little boy. He loves helping me feed the animals and, Patch, our Great Dane, was his best friend.

And if a house full of 4 kids wasn’t enough… we have 6 dogs to keep them in line, along with 2 cats, 3 rats, 9 fish, and a turtle. Finn, Flash, and Maggie are the only dogs that remained from my starting pack, each showed that age crept up much faster on canines than on humans.

Sage is my SAR partner, now that Flash and Finn were too old. She was a 3-year-old lab mix. Apache, or Patch, as the boys called her, is a 5 year old blue merle Great Dane whose owners had surrendered her to me, realizing that they couldn’t keep up with her needs or her size. Augie is the newest canine in the Crosby zoo, he’s a 6 month old cattle dog/ border collie mix that I had received as a Christmas present from the kids. Flash has been teaching him the ropes and I hoped he would aid Sage and I in SAR.

Then there is the rest of the Crosby zoo. Una the black and white tabby and Inca the calico kitten. Larry, Moe, and Curly were the boys’ rats and Bistro the turtle was Brenna’s, the name was courtesy of Evgeni Malkin, who told Brenna the Russian word for “fast” on his last visit to Pittsburgh.

Suddenly, I hear running feet and paws up the wooden spiral staircase. I quickly shut my eyes and pretend that I’m asleep. I hear the door softly creak open and voices whispering.

“Is she up?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

I fake a small snore, making the kids burst into a fit of quiet giggles.

“She’s snoring!”

“Should we wake her up, Daddy?”

“I think we could wake her up now, we let her sleep in enough,” Sidney’s voice answers in a whisper, a hint of amusement in his voice.

“Mommy. Mommy wake up,” I hear a small voice whisper and a hand shake my shoulder gently.

“Hmmm… what is it?” I yawn, playing along and pretending that I hadn’t gotten up 10 minutes ago.

“Happy Mother’s Day!” A chorus of voices call out, I look to the end of my bed where Sid stands with our 4 kids. The kids were all in their pajamas while Sid was dressed in jeans and a tshirt, holding a tray with food and a flower in a vase.

“Thank you! Oh you made me breakfast in bed?!” I smile sitting up in bed, “Come on, everyone up,” I motion, prompting the kids to jump on the bed, “Good morning, good morning, good morning, and good morning,” kissing each of my children on the cheek.

“What about Daddy?” Brian pouts from his spot in the crook of my left arm.

“Yeah, What about me?!” Sid says flopping onto his side of the bed, causing the whole bed shake and the kids to giggle.

I giggle, before kissing his lips, “Good morning, Daddy.”

“Eeeewwww,” Connor and Chris say in unison.

Sid smiles against my lips as I let out a chuckle.

“Ew? Ew?! What wrong with me kissing your mom, eh?” he says turning to them and faking a tough voice. Causing everyone to giggle.

Sid sits up and pulls them both down, one in each strong arm, and begins to tickle them. Their laughter echoing through the room, causing everyone else to giggle. When everyone settles down I turn to the tray on the bedside table.

“So what have you chefs cooked up for breakfast?”

“Well, I cooked the scrambled eggs, they have yellow cheese and parsley in them!” Brenna says, from her space at the bottom of the bed, smiling proudly in a big Penguins shirt and snowflake pajama pants.

“Wow thanks, Brenna! Did you create the recipe all by yourself?” I ask taking a bite of the eggs, “Mmm, these are good!”

“Everything but the parsley. Dad said it’s you favorite herb,” she smiles, pointing to the green flecks in my eggs.

“It is! And who made this scrumptious toast with apricot jam?” I ask, taking a bite of the rather well-done toast.

“Connor and I did that!” Chris pipes up excitedly.

“Yeah, remember when I asked what your favorite jam was for my homework yesterday? It was really for this!” Connor smiles proudly.

“I poured the Orange Juice!” Brian smiles from beside me, “Allll by myself!”

“Wow! What a big boy you are becoming!”

“Nuh, uh, I helped him!” Chris frowns.

“Well thank you guys! It’s such a good breakfast! And what’s this? A card?” I ask, pulling up a homemade card from the side of the tray.

On it were colorful flowers and a dog, they were well drawn, not just scribbles, telling me that my eldest child had created the card. Inside were more pictures that had been folded up. Connor had drawn me a hockey player, missing two of his teeth. Chris had drawn a picture of our house, the whole family lined up outside with all our pets. Finally, Brian had made me a wonderful swirl of multiple colors, he explained they were paw prints.

“They are beautiful cards! I’m going to put them in my office so that everyone can see them!” I smile, “Did you eat your breakfasts yet?”

“Daddy made us chocolate chip pancakes! But they are in the microwave, cause we wanted to give you your present first!” Brenna smiles.

“Well thank you. But you better go eat your pancakes before they get cold!”

They all quickly scamper off our bed and down the stairs.

“Don’t run down the stairs! And Brenna help Brian cut his pancakes,” I yell after them, before I feel Sid’s arms snake around my waist, placing a kiss under my jaw… and then taking a bite of my toast. “Hey! Don’t eat my Mother’s Day toast!” hitting him lightly in the chest.

“Mmm… you would wouldn’t be celebrating Mother’s Day if it wasn’t for me,” he whispers in my ear, pushing his hips into mine, eliciting a slight whimper.

“Sid, the kids are downstairs,” I murmur, gasping quietly as he easily finds that spot below my ear.

“They’re eating pancakes,” he murmurs back, gently nipping the area, causing me to stifle a moan and thread my fingers through his short hair.

The dark hair was cropped short again. He had gotten it cut after they had lost to the Hurricanes last week, thus pushing them out of the playoffs.

Over the last 10 years, the team had changed immensely. Sid and Kris Letang were the only ones that had stayed with the Penguins over the past decade. Fleury had also stayed in Pittsburgh for the remainder of his career, but last year at age 39, he retired. He remained in Pittsburgh, not wanting to uproot Laura and their 2 kids from their life here. Max Talbot had retired 3 years ago when he was with the Boston Bruins. He had moved back to Pittsburgh and now was staring opposite Bob Errey as an FSN announcer. Jordan left for a better life with the Avalanche, they had won the cup last year with him wearing the C. Malkin had also moved on a few years ago, he had played against the Penguins two year back in the Stanley Cup finals as the Captain of the Kings. However, it was the Penguins who took the cup home that season, for the second year in a row.

Sid now had 4 Stanley Cups under his belt, 2 were back to back. Murmurs of his retirement were beginning, now that he was due to turn 38 this August. But it was never said in this house, at least not without laughter following it. He wasn’t ready to leave hockey yet, especially since his playoff beard was finally looking... better, even if it was starting to get a little gray. In those 10 years, he had managed to juggle hockey and our family very well. There was nothing more exciting than when Daddy came home from a long road trip.

Sid’s POV

My hand travels up from her hip, tracing over those curves that drove me crazy. Her fingers threading through my hair giving me chills. Her lips were soft against mine, which only drove the hunger of the kiss further. I pull away, not wanting to do so, but knowing our kids would be done with their pancakes soon. She smiles up at me, knowing exactly why I pulled away.

“Something the matter, Crosby?” she purrs, her hand still playing with my hair and a sexy smile on her face.

“Just holding onto that thread of self control, Mrs. Crosby” I admit, kissing her lips quickly before rolling to my side of the bed.

“Dr. Crosby,” she smiles up at me mischevioulsy, correcting me.

“Sorry, DR. Crosby,” I chuckle.

I pull her into my side, and she snuggles in, her hand resting on my chest, her leg entwines with mine, and her head rests on my shoulder. She sighs contently, both of us reveling in the time together and in the precious and rare peace. Although I was upset that we were out of the playoffs, it was nice to have a break and spend it with my family.

“So I was thinking that we would leave after the Fourth of July?” I say breaking the silence.

“That sounds good,” she sighs contently, “I should be far enough along with most of my trouble cases and there are not any foreseeable problems.”

“Good, I can’t wait to go home for awhile,” I smile.

“I know you can’t. It will be nice to get away, spend time together,” she replies tracing a pattern on my chest.

After the kids got out of school for the summer, we would journey up to Nova Scotia and stay in our house up there for a few weeks. Just like we did every summer. It was a much-needed break from hockey and life in general. A time when our family could be together. We would go fishing and camping in the back yard, boating on the lake. The kids loved to go see my parents; sometimes they would spend a few days with Grandma and Grandpa, giving Caitlin and I the house to ourselves… and the rest of the zoo. But still it was nice to spend time without the kids, and with just my wife sometimes. Which was a rarity between our two jobs.

In the past 10 years, between raising kids and dogs, Caitlin had finally finished her dissertation on dog and human psychology and earned her PhD. Which she put to use and opened a new business. Discovering Love was a dog center that took in problem cases that other shelters believed were lost causes and helped to rehabilitate them before putting them up for adoption. They also offered training for dog owners.

Caitlin owned and managed the center, and also had her own team (of humans) helping her. They were dog trainers that were almost as good as Caitlin herself. But she was still the boss, the one that took on the real problem cases and the ones that had been abused, to what others thought, beyond repair. But somehow she worked them through the problems, sometimes causing our zoo to grow for a few weeks with foster dogs. When adoptions came around, which was frequently, Caitlin helped to place dogs with people. She had an innate sense of which coupling would work best and because of it, Discovering Love had the highest adoption/ success rate in the East Coast. Her business was thriving and she loved going to work, even more so than she had before.

I look down to her, hearing the kids giggle downstairs at something. I smirk, knowing it was probably something to do with Patch. The lively Great Dane was like Marmaduke with her antics. I had quite a life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I entwine my fingers with Caitlin’s, smiling at the white gold wedding band on her left ring finger that marked her as mine, one that was similar to the one I wore on my left hand. Because of her, I had discovered that hockey wasn’t my life, but love was. Love was what fueled it. Love for the sport, love for my job, love for my wife, love for my kids. Love, I discovered, was life.

“I love you,” I whisper.

She looks up to me with a smile, those dark chocolate eyes sparkling.

“I love you, too,” she whispers back, before our door suddenly bursts open and a stampede of kids and dogs raid our room, causing us both to erupt in laughter.

January 05, 2011 at Wednesday, January 05, 2011 , 10 Comments


SO here's the thing, the Epilogue is not quite done yet. I had it all typed up (Really I did!), but just before I went to post it... I changed my mind on the ending. I would hurry up and finish it, which is what part of me wants to do. BUT the part of me that wants this to be an awesome ending won out, so I need a bit more time. It WILL be posted tomorrow night after the Pens game (You know how I am with my superstitions).

Sorry, but hopefully it will be worth the wait!


January 04, 2011 at Tuesday, January 04, 2011 , 1 Comment

Chapter 87: Brenna

** Remember, the epilogue will be up tomorrow. Hope you like it! **

I couldn’t take my eyes off her, her soft dark brown hair, her pink cheeks and chubby face. She was perfect. It still seemed unreal, the whole event coming and going before I could even blink an eye, and now here she was.

“Brenna Clare,” I murmur her name aloud, tracing her soft chubby cheek with a single finger, marveling at the baby sleeping soundly in my arms. My daughter. Her skin was the one of the softest things I had ever felt, and as I pressed my lips to her forehead I could smell that unique baby scent. She had a head full of dark brown hair and lips like mine, but her mother’s nose and ears. Her eyes were the grey color of most newborns, but I was placing my bets that they would change to a dark chocolate brown, just like her mom’s.

I smile as her pouty lips twitch and she begins to stir, her impossibly tiny arms moving as she begins to fuss.

“Shhh…” I murmur, “let Mommy sleep more, you wore her out.”

My little girl soon settles back down into her slumber, her tiny hand grasping my finger. I smile down at her, I had never felt this way. This was a whole different kind of love, different from how I loved her mother. I had helped to create this beautiful baby. Had you asked me a year ago what I would be doing on May 14, 2014, holding my baby daughter in my arms would not have been my answer. But here she was, after 8 hours of being in labor, she was ready for the world.

“Caitlin Shaw?” I ask the nurse at the other side of the desk.

She stares at me wide eyed for a moment, before snapping her attention back to her clipboard.

“Umm… yeah, room 114, Mr. Crosby,” she murmurs, apparently a little star struck.

“Thanks,” I manage to call back to her as I’m running down the hallway.

I stop in front of the room with the number 114 on the door and take a deep breath. This was it; there was no turning back now. I open the door to find the room dimly lit, with a bed in the middle. She was lying back against some pillows, in a blue hospital gown. Beth was next to her, telling her something and making her smile. Her head looks to the door upon hearing me open it and I’m greeted with a soft grin. Her eyes look to the clock, before going wide and gaping at me.

“I called you 15 minutes ago! Christ, Crosby how many laws did you break getting here?”

“Does it really matter? I’m here.” I smirk, walking over to her bedside.

“Good, cause the doctor said that the whole crossing my legs thing wouldn’t work,” she laughs.

As the hours ticked by her mood became more and more hostile. I was blamed a few times for putting her through the pain, but the Dr. Henderson assured me she was handling it better than some of the women she had encountered. Made me feel sorry for the dads going through that, because I was sure feeling the heat.

Luckily, her mood improved after she decided to go with the epidural. After that we could both watch her contractions on the computer screen, without me worrying about her injuring my hand. We watched as the guys beat the Bruins 4-2 without me, earning our advance into the next round. Bob and Steigy were ecstatic when they found out why I wasn’t on the ice. I’m sure the interenet was blowing up with the chatter of my daughter’s birth. We had yet to release her name to anyone, except for a few select people. Her parents and brother were up from Maryland and were currently out to breakfast with my parents and sister. Both families came rushing when they heard. And they had both played the dutiful grandparents role when they saw Brenna for the first time, even Dad cracked a smile and held her.

“Mom, Dad, Tay,” I say quietly with a smile, walking over to them with the newest addition to the family, “Meet Brenna.”

“Oh, Sidney! She’s absolutely perfect!” My mom gasps, tears in her eyes as they peer at the baby in my arms.

“She looks like the both of you,” Taylor says, “You two divide those genes pretty evenly.”

“We tried Tay,” I chuckle, rolling my eyes as Caitlin laughs loudly in the bed behind us.

“She’s adorable, just like her mother,” Mom smiles going over to greet Caitlin.

“Thanks Trina,” she smiles back weakly, she hadn’t gotten much sleep quite yet.

“Tiring process,eh?” my mom chuckles next to her, “Now Sidney let her Grandmother hold her,” she says reaching for Brenna.

I chuckle and dutifully hand over my daughter, realizing my mother was going to be the typical grandma that would spoil her granddaughter.

“Yeah, you can say that again. She pulled her daddy from the game and then made us wait 8 hours, but by 4:00 she was ready to come out. She had the nurses scrambling to get everything ready,” she chuckles, “Born at 4:14 AM.”

"What’s her length and weight?” My dad asks, finally piping up, causing Caitlin to break into laughter and me to chuckle. Everyone else looking at us like we’re crazy.

“8 pounds, 7 ounces,” I grin, remembering Caitlin and I crack up when we heard my number, “And 21 inches long.”

“A Daddy’s girl in the making,” Caitlin chuckles, looking at me with a grin, to which I answer with a sheepish smile, “She is going to have him wrapped around her little finger.”

“Well with those big eyes and pouty lips, I can see why,” Taylor giggles, as my mom hands her off to her, “Hi, Brenna,” she coos.

“And you two are all ready for her?” Dad asks, not taking his eyes of the baby.

“As ready as we’ll ever be,” I sigh, how ready were new parents really?

“Taylor, may I?” Dad asks, motioning to the pink bundle in her arms.

I smile; knowing that even with his rough and take-no-shit exterior, my dad really was a big softy when it came to kids. He would probably end up spoiling her more than my mom.

“What you thinking about over there Crosby?” I hear a voice ask, breaking me out of my thoughts.

“Just the day,” I reply with a smile, looking over at the woman that made this all possible. She had a sleepy and content look on her face, her brown eyes soft. She had done wonderfully through the whole process. Calm and collected when I first arrived, which was good, because I was so nervous I struggled to unbuckle my seatbelt.

“It has been quite a day hasn’t it,” she smiles, looking down to our daughter sleeping peacefully in my arms, “Have you slept at all?”

“No, too much has been happening,” I reply sheepishly, moving to sit in the bed next to her.

“You should go home, get some sleep,” she responds, “I’m sure you have to prepare for the next round.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” I smile, getting out of my chair and sitting next to her on the hospital bed.

“She’ll still be here when you get back, Sidney,” Caitlin smiles up at me.

I smirk back and press a kiss to her temple. I wasn’t going anywhere.

“I love you,” I murmur, before leaning down to capture her lips with mine in a brief kiss. Those sparks still present. “Thank you, Caitlin.”

“For what?” she asks, her brows coming together in confusion.

“For everything. For telling me so that I could be here. For deciding to stick with me. For making me a Dad. For loving me back. Just… I can’t imagine this turning out more perfectly,” I smiles.

“Me either,” she smiles looking up from our daughter and her chocolate brown eyes looking into mine. I loved her eyes, her smile. Still as captivating as they were when I, literally, ran into at the beach.

I smile before bringing my lips back to hers. The fireworks were still as strong as they were 5 years ago when I first kissed her in the ocean. And look where we were now, together again and with our daughter in my arms. Now, all she had to do was say yes when I asked her the crucial question.

Caitlin’s POV

A knock on the door made us separate from the gentle kiss, one that still gave me butterflies.

“Come in,” I call softly, careful not to wake Brenna.

In walks a certain dark haired hockey player, looking very shy.

“Hey Tanger,” Sid greets quietly.

“Hey, congratulations,” he smiles meekly.

“Thanks, Kris,” I smile up at him, “For everything. I don’t know how this all would have ended up if it wasn’t for you.”

“No, it wasn’t me. You two would have worked things out eventually, I just pushed you along,” he smiles.

“Well thanks for the shove Tanger,” Sid chuckles.

“Sid, why don’t you let Tanger hold her and go tell the goons in the lobby that they can come in too,” I smile.

They both look at me unsure.

“I know they’re here. They wouldn’t have let Kris come to the hospital alone, they just sent him in to make sure they could come in… am I right?” I say looking over to Kris.

“Yeah, they’re raiding the gift shop,” he chuckles, running a hand through his hair to get it out of his face.

“That’s what I thought, Sidney go get them. We’ll be fine,” I smile up at him.

He let’s out a heavy sigh, “Fine. Kris, meet Brenna,” he smiles, placing the sleeping baby into Kris’s arms gently before kissing my forehead and hers and heading out the door.

“Brenna, eh? Sounds a lot like…” he asks cautiously.

“Yeah,” I smile sadly, wishing Bran was still alive to see her, “that was done on purpose. Brenna Clare Crosby. We finally decided on the name when we were waiting for her last night.”

He lets out a chuckle and looks down at her. “She is beautiful, just like her mom,” he says smiling up at me.

“Thanks Kris, really,” I smile up at him, “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

He just smiles shyly in return, making me wish I had a camera. My best friend holding my daughter was a sight to behold, it made me wonder how he was still single. If girls got a picture of what I was seeing now, they’d be lining up outside his door, offering to have his kids.

Before anything else can be said, the door swings open, and most of the team comes in. There were balloons galore and Max Talbot was wearing a shirt that said “I’m the BIG brother,” to which he earned a hearty laugh from me and a sigh from Sid, who grinned anyways.

“Hi Mom and Dad!” Colby says following the Superstar, “We have tons of stuff for Miss Brenna Crosby, a cigar for the new Daddy, and Chinese food and Starbucks for Mommy.”

“I knew I loved you guys for a reason,” I sigh dramatically as Jordan Staal hands me a tall hazelnut coffee from Starbucks and sets a Chinese takeout container on the table next to me, before kissing my cheek, “Good game last night boys! And congrats on the going to the next round!”

“Well it would have been better if we had a certain captain playing with us, but I guess we can let his absence slide just this once,” Jordan smiles as Sid takes Brenna from Kris.

"Yeah, well, he could have been out with you guys. She wasn't born until 4:14 this morning," I chuckle.

"No way, I wouldn't have missed any of that for the world! Even if you did almost break my hand," Sid grins from beside me.

“Born at 4:14 on May 14, 2014? Sounds like a number 14 will be on the back of her sweater," Jordan says from beside me.

"Knowing her Dad, I wouldn't doubt that," I giggle, to which Sid winks at me.

“Well, are you going to introduce us or not, Sid?” Talbot speaks up with a grin.

“Guys, this is Brenna. Brenna, these are the guys that you have to put up with, I’m sorry” he grins standing up to show off his daughter to his teammates.

All the boys crowd around Sid, as the proud father grins and shows off his little girl. I sip on my coffee as I watch the big tough hockey players turn to goo when introduced to the baby girl.

“Don’t listen to your daddy, Brenna, we’re way more fun than him!” Marc Andre says, holding at least 8 balloons, with varying Congratulations on them. “Congratulations on your new Hip” was my favorite in the bunch.

I watch as they all take turns holding the tiny baby. I didn’t care how tough they were on the ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins were all a big bunch of softies.

* * * *

“We’re home!” Sid smiles softly, looking in the back of the car and frowning when he realizes that he’s just looking at the back of the car seat. “Maybe I’ll put a mirror back there so that it reflects off this mirror and…” he begins.

“Let’s just get her in the house Crosby, and then you can think about rearranging your car,” I smile patting his arm before getting out of the car and unbuckling my daughter from her carseat.

“Watch, the edge of the mat, it’s turned up…” he says as I approach the door.

“Honestly Sidney, just open the door for us,” I sigh, he was so protective of her. The poor girl was going to have a hard time dating when that time came around.

“Ok, ok. You think the dogs will be ok, right? Maybe I should take her, because they’ll be so excited to see you and…”


“Ok, ok…” he smiles opening the door.

A flurry of fur passes in front of me as the dogs excitedly greet me; after all they hadn’t seen me in 2 days.

“Easy, easy…” I say calmly, making my dogs calm down a little more. I walk over to the couch and sit down, shifting Brenna in my arms.

“Alright kids, this is your new sister, you need to be very gentle with her,” I say firmly, letting the dogs smell the new comer.

I hold my breath and wait for the reaction, knowing they won’t hurt her but wondering what they will do. I can’t help but giggle as Finn comes over and submissively licks the side of her face, earning a small whine from the baby. The dogs perk up their ears at the sound and back away a little bit. But Finn stays put, next to her just watching as she settles down and her hand rests against his nose. I smile; we had one hell of a family.

After a few more minutes downstairs, I carry her up to the nursery, to put her in her crib while I spend some time with my pack, Sid walking up the stair behind me.

“Do you think she’ll let us sleep tonight? Or is she going to be one of those babies that never let her parents sleep?” I ask.

“Hopefully the first one, I know how cranky her mother gets if she doesn’t get the sleep she needs,” he chuckles.

“I wouldn’t talk if I were you!” I shoot back playfully, turning into the soft green painted nursery, the dim glow of a small lamp lighting the room in the corner.

I cross the room and place her in the white wooden crib watching as she slept.

“It really is amazing isn’t it?” I say aloud.

“What?” he whispers from beside me.

“That you and I could do that, without even planning to. Just like that creating something so beautiful and amazing,” I smirk, “It was worth not being able to drink coffee,”

“Mmm… but I’m glad you’ll be decently caffeinated again,” he chuckles, pulling me into him.

“What do you mean Crosby? You trying to tell me I’m cranky?” I smirk, poking a finger into his chest.

“Never dear,” he smiles before leaning down to kiss my lips lightly.

“Sure,” I chuckle turning away from him to walk out of the room, but something catches my eye on top of the dresser next to the crib.

Under the small lamp was a little black ring box. The lid was opened but there was nothing inside. My brows knit together in confusion.

“Sid, what’s with the….” I ask turning around and pointing to the box. But I find that he isn’t standing beside me anymore. Instead, he’s down on one knee, holding something sparkly in his hand looking very nervous. I gasp my hand covering my mouth in shock, “Oh my God,” I murmur.

“Just hear me out,” he starts shakily, “I knew from the first time I knocked you over in the sand, that you were different. You weren’t like any other girl, I had ever met. You were beautiful, independent, and funny. You got along with the guys and you were never afraid to show your true self.”

“I know that I’ve screwed up, big time,” he says breaking his gaze to shake his head before looking back up at me, his hazel eyes never leaving mine, “I’ve had so many close calls, thinking I was going to lose you forever. But somehow I always get another chance, and I think three is the limit. I need you in my life. When you were gone in the fall, I could hardly function without you, it was like a piece of me was missing. In a million years I would never have thought that I would find someone like you and fall in love. I never thought that I would live in a house full of dogs with a woman that cares as much about her work as I do about hockey. You put up with me, which is a big plus,” he grins, causing me to let out a rather watery chuckle.

“You handle everything so well, but that’s not all. It’s you. It’s your eyes and how they light up when you smile. How your laughter just rings out, untamed. How you aren’t afraid to be you. I still get the same chills I got at the beach the first time I kissed you, the same fireworks go off that were present under the mistletoe 2 years ago. I still get excited when you tell me that you love me. And I don’t think that will ever change,” He smiles up at me, causing me to bite my lip as a tear rolled down my cheek.

“I know that you wanted to wait. That you need to trust me before you can agree to spend forever with me. And I’m hoping you do. I want to be with you for the rest of my life, Caitlin Shaw, raise our daughter together, have more kids and raise a house full of kids and dogs. So… Caitlin,” he says taking a deep breath and holding what I now see to be a diamond ring up a little higher,

“Will you marry me?”

January 03, 2011 at Monday, January 03, 2011 , 9 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.