Thursday, July 16, 2009

21: Confession

"Is that a challenge?" I asked, trying to be coy. No way did I really want to scare off Sidney Crosby.

"Not a challenge, just a fact."

He was awfully close to me, and he was intently watching me—and I found it unnerving. I held up the CDs I had in my hand. "You have a random selection of music."

Sid shrugged. "Yeah, the guys laugh at me, but I like a lot of different things."

Someone hollered that the pizza delivery guy had pulled up. Sidney looked expectantly at me. I gestured for him to give me his money. "I'll answer the door."

"Thanks," he said, looking relieved. "I'll go clear some room in the kitchen."

The delivery boy couldn't have been more than seventeen, and he struggled with the eight pizza boxes. Awkwardly, I gave him the money, and told him to keep the change, and he passed the boxes along to me.

"Outta my way! Hot pizza coming through!" I hollered, as guys were lured from their spots by the smell of hot food wafting through the house.

"I take those," Evgeni said, jumping up from his seat on the couch to help me.

"Aw, thanks Geno," I started to say, but he turned and started to head into the living room. "Hey, no!" I laughed, "In the kitchen."

He pretended he didn't understand me and continued with the joke. "Sorry, my English is short."

"Come on, funny guy." I placed my hands on his broad shoulders and directed him into the kitchen, to the amusement of everyone in the living room.

Evgeni had a goofy look on his face when he set the boxes down on the counter and spoke to Sidney. "Hey, Sid, your girl, she bossy."

I blushed, but I saw it as an opportunity to tease him. "Yeah, does that scare you off?"

"Nah, I like a girl who can take charge."

"So, you like taking orders?"

"Well, that depends on what they are," he goaded. There was a sparkle in his eyes as we bantered back and forth, and I really enjoyed the way we could tease each other.

I didn't notice when Geno left, although I somehow knew we were alone.

"Hm, I'll have to keep that in mind. That tidbit of information could come in handy."

"So you plan on using it to your advantage?"

"Absolutely. I just have to figure out the best way to take advantage of you."

"You're killing me," he said, moving closer to me until he was inches away. "If you don't order me to kiss you, I just might have to do it on my own behalf."

The playfulness left my eyes, and my body tensed. "What?" When did our lighthearted teasing turn serious?

Sidney groaned and made a half-assed confession. "Oh, come on. You know I like you, right?"

This was it. I couldn't believe the words coming out of his mouth, as much as I wanted to hear them. I looked at the floor; I couldn't meet his gaze.

"I wasn't sure." I picked at my nails nervously. If it were possible to will oneself out of a situation, I would have been able to at that moment.

"Not sure? How could you not be sure? I did everything I could do except come right out and say it. I'm a fool when I'm around you. I say stupid things, I do things I wouldn't otherwise do, and I skated my ass off tonight trying to impress you."

I thought about making a joke that his ass was still firmly attached—thank goodness!—but the words were caught in my throat. I was not prepared for this.

Tyler and Kelsey walked into the kitchen, saying something about how starved they were. I turned my head to look, my mouth agape, but when they saw us, they quickly spun around and left as abruptly as they came. Sid placed his hand on my cheek and turned me to face him.

"No, no distractions, no more jokes. We're having this talk. Because I can't take it anymore. If you didn't know before, I'm telling you now. Nelly, I like you."

"I-I thought you were just being nice," I stammered.

"Nice? Did you think that kiss was nice? Oh right, it 'didn't count,'" he spat, my words coming back to haunt me.

He backed off, putting some distance between us. I had never seen him angry or upset before, and this was a change from the jovial Sid I had known until now—but I was not afraid of him. I was fuming, thinking of how Max openly passed on to Sid what I had privately told him earlier at the game. If Talbot thought he was helping foster a relationship, he was sorely mistaken.

"Max told you that? Because you guys seem to share an awful lot about me when I'm not around. I know you talked about me—and not just to Max, but to a bunch of guys, too. I don't appreciate that. If you liked me so much, you had no problem letting everyone else know except me."

"Can you blame me? I was enamored by you, of course I wanted to tell the guys all about you. But I didn't realize I'd literally have to share you with Max."

I was startled by his comment. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"You kissed Max."

"You can't possibly be serious." I knew I raised my voice, but I couldn't help it. I didn't care if his friends all heard how ridiculous he was being. "We were on the kissing cam. I didn't want to kiss him at first, but they came back and showed us on the screen again. I only gave him a small peck on the cheek, that was nothing! I can't believe you're honestly upset over it."

"Well, how would you feel if you were me? I was looking forward to tonight, getting to see you again, having you cheer for me in the stands, winning for you. And now you're acting like you have no idea what the past few months have meant, and I don't know what to make of it." I didn't like seeing him in this foul mood.

"I'm sorry you feel that way. Tonight has been a blast, Sidney, it's been downright amazing. Except for right now, because I could do without this fight. I just don't know what you want from me."

"Are you sober?" he asked, a scowl still on his face.

I didn't know what to think when he asked me that. Was he kicking me out, letting me go home? But I didn't have my car with me, since he promised to take me to get it later. "I had a beer during the third period, but that was it, since I have to drive home tonight."

"Good," he said, crossing the distance swiftly in several strides. He took a gentle but firm grip on my upper arms, and I thought for sure that he was going to throw me out of his brand new house and kick my ass to the curb. To my surprise, he held me in me place and peered down into my blue eyes. "Because this time, it counts." Sid leaned down and pressed his lips onto mine, passionately kissing me like no one ever had before.

At first, I didn't know how to react. I couldn't react; I stared at him with open eyes until I felt his thumbs rubbing circles on my arms. I eased at bit and closed my eyes, savoring the sensations that flowed through my body and made my toes curl. Never had a simple kiss affected me in such a way—in fact, I didn't think it possible.

I raised my hands to his chest but found myself clutching onto his tee shirt for support. His left hand moved to the base of my back, and his right sank into my hair. Sidney made it clear that he was in control, using his hands to keep me where he wanted me to be, moving at his pace, and best of all, making me enjoy what he was doing to me. When I finally came fully to my senses and started kissing him back, he pulled away, effectively torturing me.

"Have I made myself perfectly clear?" Sid asked. I could only nod my response. My brain had turned into a gelatinous blob inside my skull.

"Good," said someone from the threshold of the kitchen. Looking over, I saw it was Jordan. "Can we come into the kitchen now? Because we're all starving."

I could have died. I blushed and hid my head in my hands as the guys flooded into the kitchen to chow down on some pizza. Sid pulled me into his body as he laughed to keep me from running away, so I used him as a shield to keep me out of sight. We'd shared such an intimate discussion and moment, and it ended up on display for half of his team to see.

"It was the shirt, wasn't it?" asked VĂ©ro. That comment helped to lighten the mood, and I laughed a bit through my embarrassment.

"Yeah, thanks V."

"Stop acting all embarrassed," Max said. "We all knew this coming, it's no big deal."

"Was I the only one oblivious to what was going on?" I was answered by nods all around. "You guys all suck," I laughed, and cut in line to grab a piece of pizza. A couple of the guys moaned, but they didn't otherwise protest. I nibbled on the slice and waited for the kitchen to clear out again. As the guys piled their plates and scattered around the house again, a few walked past and either offered their good wishes or joked and said "Finally!" and "It's about time!"

When the room was empty except for Sid and I, I mustered every last ounce of bravery in my body. These conversations were not easy for me, but I usually never had a problem saying what was on my mind.

"Just so you're aware, I like you, too," I told Sidney.

I knew that he knew, but I figured it would be nice to hear those words from me. Especially since I chided him for expressing his feelings to everyone else but me.

"I hoped so," he said. A huge grin spanned his face, and it warmed my heart.

"Wow, I thought that was going to be hard to say, but it wasn't," I admitted.

"Well, you had the easy part. I said it first."

"That doesn't matter. It's still a big deal to say to anyone." I didn't add that it was the first time I had told anyone before how I felt about them.

"Well, I'm glad you told me." Sid threw out a bunch of empty pizza boxes and then approached me, slipping his arms around my waist.

"I'm glad I told you, too. And I'm glad I know that you like to take orders," I added.


"Yup. Because here's your first one: kiss me again."

He willingly obliged. And this time, he let me kiss him back.


  1. I just read this entire story. I had a smile on my face the whole time lol It's such a great story!

  2. YYYAAAYYY!!!!! I loved that he asked if she was sober. Man I love these two together!