Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chapter Thirty Three

**To say it's been "a while" since I last udpated would probably be the biggest understatement in the world. I know that it's been way too long and I'm incredibly sorry. I won't even say that things "got in the way" or that I was "busy" because that's not entirely true. With both of my stories I just got to this point where I was completely uninspired and I had absolutely nothing to say. My other writers can (hopefully?) see where I'm coming from. I didn't want to fill the story with nonsense just because I had no idea what I was doing and no direction for it. But hopefully I've put a harness on this bad boy and maybe I can reign it in. This update is really just short, blah, and disconnected, but I thought that if I could get an update out there, it might inspire me to keep on trucking. And to those of you who are still keeping up with this story, reading and commenting, thank you so much, truly. I hope you know that it means the world to me and I'm glad that you enjoy this madness(:

When I opened my eyes the next morning, the comforter was on the floor along with three of the four pillows that had once adorned the bed. Max was sleeping soundly next to me, his arm draped across my bare stomach. I watched him sleeping and couldn’t help but think how peaceful and innocent he looked. It was enough to melt my heart inside my chest. I ran my hand through his hair and pressed a kiss to the side of his head where a bruise was healing nicely. A dull thudding at the door caused him to stir and his eyes fluttered open.

“I’ll get it,” I said before hopping up, throwing on a robe and opening the door. Jordan was standing in the doorway with a shit eating grin on his face.

“And how is the happy couple this morning?” he asked, brightly.

“Never better,” I replied, “And to what do I owe the pleasure of seeing you so early?”

“Well, the team’s leaving in 30 minutes so I just wanted to make sure Max got up,” he answered. “And to see if I could catch a glimpse of you in that lingerie thing. That was so hot.”

“There’s always a catch with you,” I laughed, rolling my eyes. “I’ll make sure Max gets up, thanks for stopping by.”

“No problemo!” He did a faux bow, and turned to go. Just as I was about to close the door he stuck his head in the entryway and screamed “Get some!” before running down the hallway. I swear these boys stopped mentally maturing at 15. I walked back into the room and saw that Max had pulled the comforter back onto the bed and over his face.

“Get up, Champ,” I said, grabbing the end of the blanket and giving it a sharp tug. But Max didn’t relent and kept a tight grip on it.

“I don’t feel like moving,” he muttered into his pillow. “Why can’t we just stay here all day, eh?”

“Because you have a flight to catch and I have a house to clean, so let’s get a move on,” I replied, grabbing my overnight bag and taking it into the bathroom with me.

“But it’s so early! You are aware that this is a ridiculous hour, right?”

“You’re a hockey player. Waking up at ridiculous hours and feeling tired every second of every day is in your job description, buddy. Sorry if you overlooked that part of the contract.” As I turned the shower on, I heard Max’s heavy footsteps crossing the hotel room and over towards the bathroom.

“Why is this door locked?”

“Because, if you haven’t been paying attention, we have things to do today. Like catching flights and cleaning houses. You know exactly what will happen if I open that door and it’ll make us both late.”

“Come on, let’s just shower together. It’ll save time.” I thought about this for a second and almost caved. But I knew better. The man was very handsy afterall.

“Sorry, babe. I’ll be out in ten.” I showered quickly, wrapped myself in a towel, and made my way back out to the room. Max was sitting on the bed, fully clothed, and watching TV. “No shower?”

“I’ll take one when I get home, since you’re so intent on saving time.”

“Max, please. Don’t start with me. I just want you to be on time and I’m starting to get stressed because my parents’ flight is coming in this afternoon. I have so many things to do it’s not even funny.” He frowned a little, then walked over to me and wrapped me tightly in his arms.

“It’ll be okay, love. You know you don’t have to impress them. They are your parents after all. If anyone should be worrying and stressing it should be me.”

“And I told you, that you have nothing to worry about. They’re going to love you, Max. You already passed the hard part of this whole thing.”

“And what was that?”

“Winning me over, of course!” He smiled and smacked me on the backside before releasing me so I could get dressed. Once I was finally decent we grabbed our things and went down to the lobby where the rest of the team was waiting. “Don’t forget, dinner at my house tonight at seven. And don’t freak. They’re gonna love you.” I kissed him quickly when no one was looking and ducked out the back door before any of the guys had a chance to see. When I got to the parking lot, Vero was already waiting in her car with the radio blasting. She turned it down once I slid in next to her.

“How’d last night go?” she asked as she began pulling out of the parking lot.

“It went well. Your plan was perfect. Max couldn’t keep his hands off,” I laughed. “How was your night?”

“It was lovely, as it always is with Marc. You know, sometimes I just wish the man would propose already.”

“Vero!” I was shocked at the boldness of her statement, but after spending time with her, I really shouldn’t have been shocked at anything she said.

“What? Is that so wrong? Listen, Riley. I’ve been with him since we were fourteen. And we’re what? Twenty five? I’m pretty sure it’s time to take things to the next level.”

“You know, you’re right. I guess I never really thought about it with Max throwing out marriage proposals left and right. I’m not going to take him seriously though until he actually gets down on one knee. I love him, but when it comes to things like this, I’m more of a traditional.”

“I’m totally with you on that. I’ve always dreamed that Marc would be the one I married. You know, I honestly think I’ve loved him since I first met him. Isn’t that pathetic? He’s the only guy I’ve ever been with. But sometimes I feel like he gets bored with me. Like it’s too comfortable. I don’t know.”

“Oh, V. It’s not pathetic at all! It’s sweet. And you know that Marc’s absolutely crazy about you. I don’t know how you could ever question that. He’s just waiting for the right time to propose. You know he wants to make it special and something you’ll never forget. I’ve trusted you on a lot of things, so trust me on this.” She nodded and smiled before turning the radio back up and speeding along towards Pittsburgh. Once I was finally home, I hopped in car and high-tailed it to Pier 1 Imports to stock up on “home-y” things before my parents arrived. I found some picture frames and shoved various photos in them. There was a three-slotted picture frame that I ended up placing dead center on the mantel. Max and I were the focus of each picture. On the far left was a black and white far away shot of us holding hands with our backs to the camera. In the middle was a close up of us smiling these ridiculously dorky smiles with our faces pressed close together. In the last shot I had my arms wrapped around his neck and he had his arms around my waist. We were staring intently into each other’s eyes and Max was smiling while I bit my lip. I found that one on my camera and didn’t have the slightest memory of it being taken. I owed a big thank you to whoever my personal paparazzo was. When I was finally done with cleaning and running around, it was time to head over to the airport to pick up my parents.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chapter Thirty Two

**I tried a little bit of a different approach to this chapter, I felt like mixing things up hahaha. I hope you all like it! (:

To the best of my knowledge, the rest of the guys were going out tonight which was fine by me because I needed a night to myself. Mark would probably go out for a drink with the team so I’d get to be alone in the room which is nice sometimes. It’d give me a chance to relax and clear my head which I needed desperately. Most of the guys weren’t really talking to me that much anyway, so it was already like I was on my own. It didn’t bother me though, I knew it’d all blow over in a few days and we’d be back to goofing around, like always. I just couldn’t understand why I was being painted as the villain? If anything, I was only trying to protect Geno. Well, that’s what I told everyone else. In truth, I was trying to ruin any relationship Riley had with Geno or Max because I was jealous and selfish. That’s basically what it came down to, me trying to get the best of both worlds. I thought that once Max and Geno both left her, I’d be the shoulder to cry on. Needless to say, my plan backfired and her relationship with Max was stronger than ever. At least one Malone was happy.

Once I got back to the hotel room, I changed into some sweats and plopped down on the bed. Sure enough, Mark had gone out for a drink and the silence surrounding me was a welcome friend. I smiled to myself, enjoying the simple pleasures in life, comfortable sweats, a plush bed, and the fact that after a few years I could retire and have enough money to live on for the rest of my life. Yes, besides the fact that I didn’t have Riley and missed her terribly, life was alright. After a few minutes of laying down, letting my mind wander, I decided to venture down the hall for a bottle of soda. Before I got very far, I heard multiple voices coming out of Staalsy’s room. I figured it must be Max and Marc helping him decide what to wear. He had mentioned something earlier, while we were on the bus, about having them come over to help him pick out an outfit. God only knows why, Max looks like he dresses himself in the fucking dark. Cardigans? Really? We’re hockey players, not fifteen year old girls. I stopped a moment to listen to their conversation.

“What do you think, Max?” Jordan asked.

“They’re both fucking hideous,” he answered quickly. I laughed to myself. Even though I couldn’t stand the guy right now, he could be pretty hysterical at times. As I was thinking about this, a sound behind me made me jump. I could have sworn I was seeing things, but after I let my eyes focus, I knew my vision was spot on. Riley was at the hotel door next to mine, Max’s room, searching for a key above the doorframe. Max must have left it there for her. At once I felt my blood begin to boil as a blind fury swept through me. I clutched onto the side of the wall until the feeling passed and I was able to gain control of myself. When that moment came, I made my way back down the hall and towards her.

“Riley?” I whispered, trying not to startle her. My effort was for naught because she jumped about a foot in the air. For a moment, when she looked at me, I didn’t see any of that aggression she had been sending my way for the past couple of days. I saw the start of a friendly smile that soon turned to a frown when she realized who it was and our current situation.

“What do you want?!” she snapped, keeping her voice low. Her eyes pierced through me and I tried to remember what I had been rehearsing in my head since we started fighting in the first place.

“What are we doing here?” I answered her question with another question. She looked confused for a minute, but quickly regained her composure.

“I’m going into Max’s room. And you were leaving.” She turned her back on me and began to fumble with the key.

“Riley, I miss you.” She stopped before putting the key in the door and turned to me.

“You’re kidding me, right? After all of this shit you put me through, you have the nerve to tell me that you miss me?! Ryan…I…I can’t do this right now.” She turned back around, put the key in the door and turned the handle. She was seconds away from crossing the threshold and I had to say something to stop her.

“Don’t have sex with him. Please.” I watched as she stopped in her tracks. It was only a matter of time before she would walk inside, slam the door, and leave me standing out here. I’d be out here alone before I could count to three. One. Two. Three. Four? She was still standing there, frozen in place and it was another minute before she spoke.

“You had your chance,” she said icily. “And it never would have worked out.”

“I’m asking for another one. A second chance.”

“It doesn’t work like that. At least not with me. You made my life a living hell and you want me to forgive and forget?”

“Please, let’s try again.” She hesitated a minute, then turned to look at me.

“One, I love Max. And two, you don’t deserve me.” And with that, she walked inside and slammed the door. I stood there a minute, waiting, as if she would walk back out and say “got ya!” before running into my arms. But it didn’t happen, just like I expected and I walked quietly back to my room, without even getting my soda.

As I lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling, I actually wished Mark was there. He would offer me a distraction from my own thoughts, he might save me from myself. I could hear my heart beat drumming steadily in my ear and that noise alone was enough to drive me up the wall. When I heard the door click open, I sprang to my feet, happy to see another human who could tolerate me.

“Eaton! Where were you?” I asked as he came inside and rummaged through his bag.

“You knew where I was, down at the hotel bar with the rest of the guys. I just came up to get my American Express. We were playing a few hands of poker, I lost, this next round’s on me.”

“Oh.” I was completely disappointed that he wasn’t here to stay and it must have showed on my face.

“Hey man, why don’t you join us? I’ll even buy your cheap ass a drink.” He grinned at me while waiting for my response. Before I had time to answer him, we heard a dull, rhythmic thudding coming from the other side of the wall. “Ha! Sounds like someone’s getting lucky tonight.” Mark turned to the wall and banged on it with the hand that wasn’t holding the credit card. “Yeah Max!” He turned back to me and continued our other conversation. “Now, I know you don’t wanna listen to that all night. So, get dressed and meet me downstairs.” I agreed only to get him off my back, but in reality he was right. I really didn’t want to hear that all night. I got dressed at lightning speed and made my way down towards the bar. As I passed Max’s room, I prayed to God that maybe, just maybe, she’d be thinking of me. I knew it was a long shot so as I headed towards the elevators I wished that it was me in that room instead of Max.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chapter Thirty One

The time I spent on the road felt brutally long and the fact that I wasn’t playing my best game didn’t help either. I didn’t have any points in the game against St. Louis or when we travelled to Columbus. I couldn’t buy a goal. What I needed was a night away from everything and that’s exactly what the boys wanted to do tonight. After the win in Columbus, we decided to head out for some drinks. Beforehand, though, Jordan had insisted that Marc and myself come over to his room and help him pick out an outfit. And I was the one who had “lost my dick”? Sure enough when I walked in, they were arguing over these two shirts Jordan had laid out on the bed.

“What do you think, Max?” Jordan asked, holding both shirts up for my viewing.

“They’re both fucking hideous,” I said, being blatantly honest. I really wasn’t in the mood to be someone’s fashion consultant. All I needed was some type of alcohol coursing through my bloodstream.

“Whoa, someone’s touchy tonight,” Marc commented. “A little sexual frustration?” At this remark both of the guys snickered and high fived. I had told Marc and Jordan about Riley right after it happened and they found it to be the funniest thing in the world.

“Yeah, you can’t score on or off the ice!” Jordan chimed in. I threw the first available thing at them which happened to be my phone. “Hey!” It hit Jordan right in the stomach and bounced onto the bed. At that moment, it started lighting up, signaling that I had a new text.

“Who’s it from?” I asked, slumping down in a chair on the other side of the room.

“Riley,” Jordan replied. He opened the phone and I saw his eyes go wide. “HOLY SHIT!” I immediately jumped up from my seat and ran over.

“What?! What’s wrong?!” I watched as Jordan looked up from the phone and a smirk formed across his face.

“Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s perfect. And I think you’ll agree after you see this.” He handed me the phone and there on the screen was a picture of Riley. She was wearing this corset-like thing that revealed a lot more than I was comfortable having Jordan see. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I turned to find Jordan still smiling.

“Forget everything you saw. Right now.”

“No way, dude. That image is burned into my mind forever, and believe me, I’m fucking ecstatic about it. I’ll be using that later.”

“You’re fucking disgusting,” I snapped.

“What, what is it?!” Marc asked, trying to snatch the phone from my hand.

“Just a picture,” I said nonchalantly.

“You can’t not let me see it!”

“Sorry,” I said, making my way towards the door, “I’m putting it back in the room so no one will be seeing it tonight.” I left Jordan’s room and made my way back to my own. I opened the door and was immediately plunged into darkness. Fucking Marc. Shutting off lights every damn place we went. He was all into conserving energy these days. I stepped into the room, turned on the lights, and stopped in my tracks. There, on the bed, laying on her side, propped up on her elbow, was Riley. She was wearing the exact same corset as in the picture I had just received and looking at me with this self-satisfied smirk.

“Well, hello, Max,” she said.

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to visit you. I figured you must have been getting awfully lonely on the road. Am I right?” Her tone was light and innocent, but I was well aware of her ulterior motive.

“I’ve been doing pretty well,” I respond, trying to keep my breathing in check. She laughed lightly and sat up, moving to the center of the bed. Her arms were behind her and her legs crossed and stretched out in front of her. I was now able to see her breasts spilling out of the top of that bustier and my natural male instincts began to take over.

“What do you want, Maxime?” she asked, her voice low and enticing.

“To fuck you into next week,” I answered without a moment’s hesitation.

“Then what are you waiting for? I want you so badly.” Her words were dripping with lust. “I want you right now, Max. I want you to make me scream.” That was what broke me. I pretty much made a running leap at the bed and began pulling and untying and unclasping and clawing and scratching and doing absolutely anything to get her out of that corset. “Wait.” She backed away from me and held me at arm’s length. By this time I was throbbing with pain and desperately needing a release.

“What?!” I growled, crawling towards her.

“If I let you do this, you’re meeting my parents.”

“Okay fine.”

“No, listen to me. There will be no backing out. You’re meeting them. And so help me if you try and talk your way out of this, you will never ever be bringing your dick anywhere near me ever again. Do you hear me?”

“Yes, God, yes! I hear you. Now just get the fuck over here please?!”

“As you wish.” It was finally time for me to get what I wanted. I felt like a sex-starved maniac even though, in reality, it hadn’t been that long. I pulled her towards me and finally released her out of that skin tight bustier, carelessly throwing it to the floor. Now it was time to decide, please her first or please myself? She was so thoughtful to come all the way here just to surprise me, but she was the one who put this stupid ban on sex in the first place. What to do, what to do? I looked down into her face, brimming with adoration and lust and I made up my mind. Please her. I moved my mouth down to her breasts, sucking on the right nipple first, then the left. Her little moans told me I was going in the right direction. While I continued working my tongue, I let my hand travel further down her body until I found her clit. I massaged it in little circles before letting my fingers enter her. “Jesus Christ, Max!” I smiled to myself, enjoying the way my name sounded when she was out of breath. I then moved away from her chest and ducked my head so I could begin teasing her clit with my tongue. The action of my tongue working in conjunction with my hand had her writhing beneath me. “Faster, Max. Please.” I loved that I had her begging. It was making my already hard dick throb even more. When I had her just about on the edge, I backed away from her, removing my fingers. “That’s just mean!”

“No, I just wanna fuck you so badly. I can’t wait any longer.” I quickly removed my pants and slid my dick into her. I felt her shuddering beneath me and then as I found a rhythm, her little whimpers turned to full on moans. I slammed into her, completely losing myself in the moment. I heard the thudding sound of the headboard smashing into the wall, but it sounded distant. “Come for me, Riley. Come on, baby. Come for me.” Moments later I had her screaming in orgasm as mine closely followed. We collapsed together as I pulled out of her, breathing heavily.

I smiled down at Riley who had her face nestled comfortably in my shoulder. She fit perfectly in my arms, like we were molded to one another. I looked over at the clock whose red numbers were flashing 3:27 and figured Flower must have been in on this scheme and rooming with one of the other guys. He was a good friend, always looking out for me. I had to remember to thank him later. Riley began to stir and I felt her lips on my neck.

“I thought you were asleep,” I whispered into the top of her head. She shook her head no, but didn’t move her position.

“I was just closing my eyes for a little bit. You know I can’t stand to be away from you for too long, even if it is just sleep.” That statement made me feel a kind of happiness I had never felt before in my life. I’d never had someone want me so completely and fully that even being apart in sleep was too long. As if reading my mind, Riley continued. “I’m so glad we’re together. I’m so glad I found you. I love you, Max. So much. More than I’ve ever loved anyone. And stop smirking, I know this is corny. Humor me.” She finally looked up at me and had a playful look in her eyes underneath the serious expression she wore. I didn’t know how to respond to that. There was so much that I wanted to tell her, but I couldn’t find the words.

“I…I want to buy you a boat.” I’m sure this statement made absolutely no sense to her which is exactly why she propped herself up on one elbow and looked at me like I had eight heads.


“A boat. There’s a story behind it. When my parents where first dating, my dad didn’t have a lot of money, but he always wanted to do these extravagant things for my mother. Well one day, they happened to be walking by a marina and my mom saw this gorgeous boat. My dad could tell that she’d love to own it so he made a promise to himself that as soon as he had enough money saved up, he’d buy her that boat. So, a couple of years after they were married and long after my mother had forgotten all about that boat, my dad brought her to that same marina and gave her the keys to her new boat. It looked exactly like the one she fell in love with in the first place. She loved being out on the water and now she could do it whenever she wanted. My dad told her that he’d do anything for her, even buy her boat because he loved her that much and wanted her to be happy. So, bringing this all back to us, I would do absolutely anything for you, even buy you a boat, because I love you.”

“Even though you took a long circuitous route to make your point, that story was very cute and I think I’ll let you buy me a boat.”

“Pssh who are you trying to kid? I don’t have enough money for that!”

“Then this relationship is over.” She rolled over with her back to me and I could feel her laughter vibrating within her ribcage.

“Good, I can’t stand you,” I said before wrapping her in my arms and drifting to sleep.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chapter Thirty

The rest of the night carried on with relative ease. I sat with Mario, Nathalie, and Riley and we enjoyed the Penguin victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Geno played like a man with something to prove, notching two goals and two assists to carry the team to a 5-1 win. At least he was channeling all of this negative energy to a productive source. Well, besides beating the shit out of me. After the game, the box emptied pretty quickly and soon enough, it was just myself and Riley.

“Fun game,” she commented, snagging one of the remaining glasses of wine.

“Indeed it was,” I replied, walking over until I was directly in front of her. “Now, why don’t we go back to my place? You know, I’ve got a little time until the flight leaves for St. Louis.”

“You’re going away?”

“For a mini-road trip. And don’t I deserve a going away present?” I watched as she rolled her eyes and shook her head no. “But, I could get you out of this dress.” I snaked my arms around her waist and brought her closer to me. “Just think how good it would look on my floor.” I heard her mumble something about me not getting away with this, but I ignored her. “I could put my hands here.” I brought them down to her ass. “Or here.” I moved one hand to graze across the top of her cleavage and I watched as she closed her eyes and licked her lips. “Or maybe I could throw you on the bed. I remember how much you enjoyed that.” I watched her facial expression as she remembered our encounter last night. “Or screw the bed. I could fuck you in the living room. Wouldn’t you like that? Or in the foyer. Or right here if you wanted. I could do that thing you like, with my hand.” I traced a finger up her inner thigh and heard her moan slightly. “Or I could do that thing with my tongue. Remember that?” I watched her physically shudder and she reached out to pull me closer. I moved my hands back to her waist and massaged the small of her back. “What do you want, Riley?”

“I want you---”

“Oh yeah?”

“No, you didn’t let me finish. I want you to agree to meet my parents. Please.” I heard an undertone of begging in that statement and figured if I tried a little harder, I might be able to get away with it.

“No, no. Let me do all of this for you first. And then we’ll talk about meeting your parents.” I began kissing her neck until I felt her tense and push me away.

“If there’s no agreement first, then there’s no sex.”

“No agreement.”

“No sex.”


“Fine.” I watched as she turned on her heel and headed out of the box. And to think, it seemed like I was so close. Believe me, I wanted to be with her, but I just wasn’t ready to meet her parents yet. A step like that takes weeks of mental preparation. Everything had to be perfect for them so I could make a good first impression. I never felt like I was good enough for Riley, I’m selfish, loud, obnoxious, and self centered. And she’s everything opposite of that. But for some reason, God only knows, I had won her over and I wanted to win her parents over too. I know Riley would probably feed me some line about how her opinion is the only one that matters and that’s true to a certain extent. But, I wanted Riley to have her family’s support on this one and that meant making a good first impression and we’re back to square one. I grabbed her glass of wine, downed the remnants, and headed out to meet up with the team.

Riley’s Point of View
I had to get out of that room as fast as I could. If I stayed for one more second, I would have given in and let Max have his way with me right there on the floor. Not that that would have been all bad. Once I was outside and at my car, I felt my heart beat return to normal and I took that moment to actually be proud of myself. I actually resisted Max Talbot. The Max Talbot. I was playing with fire here. And could it be I wasn’t getting burned? Max seemed to be suffering, his efforts to seduce me weren’t working, and before long, he’d be groveling at my feet and dying to meet my parents. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty damn good. Which is why, when I got home, I called Vero and asked if she wanted to come over and spend the night. We’d have a good ol’ fashioned sleep over complete with pedicures, gossip, and junk food. Ultimately, it didn’t take much arm twisting for her to oblige. Around three in the morning, when all of the Cheetos were gone and we were relying on coffee to help us pull an ‘all nighter’, we started talking about Max. I actually couldn’t believe that subject hadn’t been brought up until now.

“How are you guys doing?” Vero asked from the foot of my bed. She was sprawled on her stomach, sucking on popcorn kernels.

“We’re doing really good. We said ‘I love you’ last night after we had sex for the first time,” I answered, unable to keep the smile from my face and the blush from my cheeks.

“How was it?”

“It was the perfect moment. Just hearing him say those words literally sent shivers down my spine. I haven’t felt this way about anyone before, V.”

“No, I meant the sex.” She started laughing and I threw a pillow at her, hitting her square in the face. She tried to retaliate, but I fended her off.

“See! That’s what you get for being a bitch!” This time it was her turn to hit me upside the head with a pillow. Once we finally caught our breath, I answered her original question. “The sex was so fucking amazing.”

“Ah! I knew it! Not gonna lie, Max always struck me as the kind of guy who would be fantastic in bed.”

“Well, your intuition was right. He was beyond fantastic. I just can’t even put it into words. How’s Marc?”

“Have you seen the way he moves when he’s in net? That speaks for itself.”

“Point taken.” We burst into another round of laughter as Vero went on to tell me some story about Marc’s bedroom acrobatics and how he accidentally knocked down a picture behind their bed, sending glass shards everywhere. I struggled to catch my breath when she was finished. I never ever laughed this hard in my whole entire life. I went on to tell her about our night in Mario’s box and then the whole ‘meet the parents’ issue.

“I wonder why Max doesn’t want to meet them. That’s so weird,” Vero pondered after I finished explaining.

“I know right? So you know what I did?”


“I put him on sex probation until he comes around on this issue.”

“No way! That’s such a good idea! I have to use that on Marc next time he doesn’t do something that I want.”

“It’s like a big game because you get to try all of these fun ways to seduce him until he eventually gives in. Max has no will power, so it should be happening soon. Although, I’m running out of ideas.” I watched as Vero scrunched up her face in concentration and then suddenly jumped up in excitement.

“Okay, just go with me here. How do you feel about road trips and bustiers?”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chapter Twenty Nine

I waited in the living room for Max to come downstairs and after a few minutes, I saw him come sulking around the corner. He plopped down heavily next to me and I put my head in his lap.

“Shouldn’t you be taking a pregame nap?”

“Oh that’s right, I didn’t get a chance to tell you before, I’m not playing tonight. Healthy scratch.”

“Because of the fight?”

“Because I can’t put my helmet on without being in excruciating pain.” I felt a twinge of guilt in the pit of my stomach. No matter what anyone said, I was always going to see myself as the reason that the fight took place.

“I’m so sorry.” Max caught that the tone of the conversation had drastically shifted and reached down to stroke my hair.

“Whatever you’re thinking right now, stop it.” He smiled down at me and just as I was about to say something, his cell phone rang. He reached into his pocket, looked at the screen, then looked at me, then looked at the screen again, and back up to me.

“Who is it?” I saw his blue eyes go wide.

“It’s Mario.” Getting a call from Mario for no reason was a pretty big deal, so I sat up and leaned in to hear what was said. “Hello?”

“Hey, Max! How are you?” Mario asked from the other end.

“I’m fine and yourself?”

“I’m doing pretty well. Listen, I know you’re not playing tonight and I’d like it if you’d come sit up in the box with me. I’ve been meaning to talk to you and I figured this is the perfect opportunity. We’ll have a few drinks, watch the game, it’ll be fun.”

“I…um…yeah! I’d love to! Thanks so much for offering.”

“No problem at all, Max. I’d also really like it if you brought someone. Maybe a girl? Maybe a relative of one of your teammates? Maybe a Malone? I don’t know, whoever you see fit.”

“How did you---?”

“I’ll see you tonight, Max.” And with that, he hung up. It was sort of like being summoned to the principal’s office. You stressed about it all day thinking, ‘What in the world did I do?’. Only this time, we knew exactly what we did.

“I can’t believe he knows,” Max said quietly, still looking at the phone in his hand.

“I can. I mean, he’s co-owner. He probably knows a lot more than you think he does. I’m sure he wants to be on the up and up about his players. I know I would.”

“Yeah, but this seems different. Like really personal.”

“But I guess since it’s affecting the whole team, then he’d want to know what’s going on. Especially since there was a fight, and a write up in the paper, and the fact that you’re not playing tonight.”

“You’re right. That makes sense.” Max nodded even though he seemed like he was still in a daze. We put off talking about the issue for a couple more hours while we lounged around lazily, ate pizza, and watched TV. Eventually though, Max knew it was time for him to leave so he could shower and get dressed before we had to go over. We decided that we’d take separate cars so nothing would look suspicious. When I was choosing my outfit, I decided on a simple black dress that showed just enough skin so as not to offend Mario, but tempt Max at the same time. I still had to make sure he caved first. Once I was dressed, put on my makeup, and grabbed my jacket, I was out the door and making my way to the Igloo. I made my way down to the player’s lounge and met this guy named James who worked at Mellon. Max told me that James would be the one to bring me up to Mario’s box. So, after a treacherous climb, I finally arrived. For the most part, the box was empty with the exception of a few staff members and people I didn’t know. I spied an open bar with glasses of wine sitting on the surface, snagged a glass and grabbed a seat at a table. As the minutes ticked by and the glass emptied, more people began filing in, until at last, Max took a seat across from me. He seemed pretty distracted and didn’t notice what I was wearing until he actually sat down.

“Whoa,” he said, a smile breaking out across his face.

“You like?” I asked, downing the rest of the wine.

“I love. Where’d you get that?”

“I’ve had it for a while. Thought I’d break it out tonight. It seemed like the right time. By the way, have you given anymore thought to my proposition?”

“Yes, and my stance is still no.”

“Oh really? Well, that’s a shame. I was really hoping you’d changed your mind.”

“Nope, because I have a theory.”

“And what’s that?”

“You can’t resist me as much as I can’t resist you. Sooner or later you’ll be begging to have me in your bed and you won’t give a damn whether or not I agree to meet your parents.”

“I beg to differ. I have an unusually strong amount of will power. You on the other hand, not so much.” I smiled at him and watched as he grabbed a napkin from the corner of the table and pulled a pen out of his pocket.

“You know, you’re impossible to live with,” he said as he began scrawling something across the napkin.

“I never said it’d be easy,” I replied with ease. He shook his head and slid the napkin across the table. ‘I love you’ stood out in bold letters across the white background. This was only the second time I’d heard it from him and technically he hadn’t even said it this time. But just seeing it written there was enough to send my heart into overdrive. I felt myself smile involuntarily and I looked up at him to find that he was smiling right back. This was a moment I wanted to remember forever and capture in my memory. But then I watched as his expression changed from happiness to terror and I quickly realized that it was because Mario was standing over my shoulder, reading the note.

“Mario! Hey!” Max said, practically tripping over himself to get over to him. I stood up and took my place next to Max. “This is Riley.”

“Hi, Mr. Lemieux,” I said politely, having absolutely no idea what to call him.

“It’s so nice to meet you, Riley. But please, it’s Mario,” he responded. Awkward greeting, officially over. “Now, I hope you don’t mind if I steal Max for a little while.”

“Oh no, not at all. Steal away.” Mario smiled pleasantly and began to walk away, assuming Max would follow him.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Max whispered in my ear before trailing behind Mario. I watched the two of them convene on the other side of the room and I barely noticed the pretty blonde woman who had come up on my right.

“You must be Riley,” she said suddenly. I turned to face her and I guess she read the puzzled expression on my face because she quickly added, “I’m Nathalie, Mario’s wife.”

“Oh, it’s so nice to meet you,” I replied, repeating the statement her husband had made to me.
“I’ve heard so much about you, I feel like I know you already,” she remarked. I inwardly cringed at the thought of this. She probably heard something along the lines of: “Riley Malone? Oh yeah, she’s that whore that’s tearing the whole damn team apart.”

“Is that so? I hope it was nothing too incriminating.”

“Not at all! I’ve heard how you’re the beautiful cousin of Ryan and how you’ve seemed to capture the heart of one of the most ‘un-capturable’ men on the team.” I felt the heat rise to my cheeks immediately as I thought of Max. But then it occurred to me that even though she probably knows about my relationship with Max, she could also have been referring to my ‘relationship’ with Geno. “How are you two doing?” I figured it was best I go the safe route and assume she meant Geno.

“Oh, Geno and I are doing well. We’re very happy.” I gave the best diplomatic answer I could. I thought for a minute I had succeeded until she lowered her voice and leaned in closer to me.

“Please, Riley. I know that’s not true. I’m pretty sure you’re a little bit happier with Max, no?” She winked and I breathed a sigh of relief. Someone else I could confide in.

“So much happier.” I laughed as she led me to our seats.

Max’s Point of View
I felt bad about leaving Riley by herself, so I hoped to make whatever conversation I had to have with Mario short and sweet.

“How are you doing, Max?” Mario asked once we were far enough away from Riley and Nathalie.

“I’m fine.”

“No, Max. Really, how are you doing?” I sighed, it was no use sugarcoating it. He’d get it out of me anyway.

“Terrible actually. I can’t stand what’s going on with the team. I can’t stand not being able to play. I can’t stand fighting with Geno and Ryan. And I can’t stand having Riley constantly blaming herself. I’m just as much to blame as she is. But she never gets that.” I didn’t have any idea how impossibly good I’d feel just saying that. It felt like a thousand pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. “And even though all of this is going on around me, I’m happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. I know that sounds crazy, but I have Riley and for some reason that makes it all worthwhile.” Mario was watching me intently, as if taking in everything I was telling him very carefully. It was a good two or three minutes before he spoke again.

“Do you love her?"

“Yes. I love her.”

“Okay then, Max.” Needless to say, I was utterly confused by this answer.

“Okay then?”

“Listen, Max. I’m sure you can gather that I don’t like what’s going on with the team right now. Yes you guys are winning and yes you’re keeping it together on the ice, but if things keep up the way they are, and personal affairs begin to intermingle with hockey life, then it will start to fall apart. It’s not bad now, but it could get that way. No owner, coach, staff member, or even other teammate ever wants to hear that two players can’t stand each other or are in some type of feud. But that’s beside the point right now because what you’re telling me, Max, about how much this girl really means to you, is something that only comes around once in a lifetime. And I have the utmost faith that once you square things away with her, everything will be just fine out on the ice.” Was this really happening? Was Mario actually telling me, in a roundabout way, to put something else before hockey? “Just please, Max, please try and work it out with Geno. I know that Riley has to pretend to be his girlfriend for a little while because now the press is involved, but what really matters is who she’s coming home to, and that’s you. He’s jealous and hurt, don’t hold that against him. I’m telling you, he’ll get over it. Just promise me, no more nightclub incidents.” I nodded, trying to soak in everything he was telling me. “And as for Ryan, he’s just playing the protective cousin right now. He’ll get over it as soon as he sees how good of a match you are for Riley. It’ll all work out, Max. Trust me.” And believe it or not, at that moment in time, I would have trusted Mario with my life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chapter Twenty Eight

When I got up the next morning, Riley was still asleep, which I expected. I had woken up earlier than normal so I could drive myself over to my place and change before heading over to practice. When I finally reached the arena, I bolted into the locker room, noticing I was running late.

“Hey man, what’s with the shit-eating grin?” Jordan asked as I approached. I hadn’t even noticed I’d been smiling.

“Oh, I don’t know. Nothing,” I answered throwing my bag down.

“Oh, I think I know. Someone got laid last night!” he screamed punching me in the arm. A couple of the guys whistled and clapped before returning to dressing.

“Alright, maybe I did. But it was kind of a big deal, okay?”

“Max Talbot getting a lay is a big deal?! I thought it was an everyday occurrence.”

“Shut up, Staalsy. It was…uh…the first time with Riley.”

“Dude. You’re fucking with me right? You’ve been hanging around with her for weeks and this is the first time you’ve fucked her?”

“Okay first of all, can we not scream this in a public venue? And second of all, can we not say I ‘fucked’ her?”

“Did you lose your dick sometime between yesterday and today? Since when is the word ‘fucked’ off limits? And, dude, I can’t believe she would even touch you with a ten foot pole. Your face is so fucked up.” Just as I was about to reply, Dan came over to us.

“Trainer, Talbot,” he said to me sternly. I nodded and made my way to the trainer, Chris. When I entered the room, I looked to my left and into a little mirror. I still looked like a complete horror show. And, if I wasn’t seeing things, it looked like my face had gotten worse.

“Um, hey Chris,” I called out. He had his back to me and was writing quickly in a notebook.

“What do you need, Max?” he asked without turning around.

“Well, Coach thinks you should have a look at me,” I answered. Chris finished up his writing and turned around to face me.

“Holy hell! I heard about the fight, but I didn’t think it was this bad.” He immediately began poking and prodding, much to my dissatisfaction. Everything on my face hurt and I’m pretty sure a good majority of it was swollen. “It’s not looking good for you, Talbot. You’ve got some pretty serious bruising going on under your right cheekbone. Your nose isn’t broken though, so that’s a plus. And what’s this cut on the side of your head?” I reached up and felt a sore spot near my hairline on the left side of my head. “Jesus, can you even put your helmet on without being in pain? Go get it.” I did as I was told and came back with the helmet. “Put it on.” I placed the helmet on my head and tried to minimize the wincing and grimaces I knew I was making. “You’re not playing tonight. You need a day.”

“No, seriously, I’m fine,” I protested.

“No, seriously, you’re not,” he replied. “You should go home. I’ll tell Dan.”

“I’m fine though! At least let me practice!” It was too late though. Chris left to go find Dan and I was left sitting alone until he returned five minutes later.

“Go on, go home. Just make sure you’re back here tonight. We’ve got a flight to catch to St. Louis.” I sighed dramatically, but left. I really wanted to see Riley, but I wanted to give her some space too. I was sure she’d get sick of me if we saw each other too often. So, I decided to take a drive. I needed some time to clear my head anyway. I started the engine, and took off, with no particular destination. While I was driving I thought about Riley mostly. Things were starting to go the way I had wanted them to go. I loved her, she loved me. That part was good. That made me feel amazing. There’s no better feeling than to love someone unconditionally and have them love you back the same way. I could spend hours talking to her about absolutely nothing. I loved the way I could tease her mercilessly about things, but I also loved how she could dish it right back. She complimented me. I wanted to hold her and kiss her all the time. I wanted to put a huge ass ring on her left hand. I wanted to show everyone that she was mine and solely mine. But…Geno. That son of a bitch was standing in my way. He wanted her too, that was easy to see. Just look at my face. He wasn’t willing to back down either. If he wasn’t in the picture though, things would be so much easier. All I wanted to do was be able to walk down the street holding her hand! Was that too much to ask? I felt like I was constantly fighting an uphill battle. No matter how hard I fought, there was always someone standing in my way, waiting to take Riley away from me. I had to consistently be on my guard so as not to allow myself to lose her. I had won for now, but it felt like I could never quite keep a hold on her. I continued to let my mind wander for a few hours, until returning to Riley’s house. I opened the door and frowned at the fact that it was unlocked.

“You know, you really should keep that door locked. You never know who could walk in here,” I called out as I entered the house.

“Alright, love you too, bye,” I heard Riley’s voice in the living room, then I heard the clicking of the phone. “Hey, Maxie.” She greeted me at the doorway, throwing her arms around my neck.

“Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” I sighed. Oh great, just something else to screw us over.

“Bad then good,” I replied.

“Well the bad news is that my parents are coming to visit. But the good news is that I’ve been thinking about having sex with you. All. Day. Long.” She didn’t even leave time for a breath between those two phrases and the majority of blood in my body began to rush southward. I knew she was trying to distract me, so I had to keep my focus.

“Oh, really?” I managed to ask. “When?”

“Next Saturday,” she replied, hooking a finger in my beltloop. I immediately thought of 50 different ways I could have her underneath me in the next ten seconds.

“That’s nice.”

“Mmm, it is.” She moved her mouth to my jaw line. “Hey! Let’s go upstairs.” She began dragging me up towards her bedroom and since my mine was not really in a proper functioning state, I followed her wordlessly. I allowed her to guide me towards the bed, push me backwards, and sit in my lap. Soon my t-shirt was fluttering to the floor.

“Should I…should I be concerned? You know, about this?”

“No and can you stop talking? I’m trying to concentrate on pleasing you.” The way she drew out those last two words made me salivate at the thought of her pleasing me and I could think of quite a few ways that could be done. But no! I wouldn’t let her distract me with sex.

“But…where…are…they…staying?” I asked when her mouth wasn’t covering my own.

“Jesus, Max!” she got off of me and walked across the room, perching herself in a comfortable looking chair. My mind automatically conjured up an image of us having sex in that chair. See what she’s done? I can’t even think straight now! “Here I am trying to have what I was certain was going to be amazing sex with you and all you can talk about is my parents? You do know that tends to be a major turnoff right?”

“Yes I know! I’m sorry, but you just sprung this on me and I wanted to know what the deal was. But we can talk about it after.” I admit it, I’m weak when it comes to her.

“No, the mood’s dead now. They’re coming into town next Saturday because my mom's old friend is getting remarried and they’re going to be staying with me. And I really really really want you to meet them.” I looked at her and frowned.

“You, um, want me to meet them?”

“Yes, isn’t that what I just said?”

“Yeah…but…well, I don’t know about that, Riley.”

“You’re kidding me right?”

“No, it’s just that I’m not really a ‘meet the parents’ kind of guy. They just never like me. I don’t know why.”

“Honestly, Max? You don’t have to worry about that. I know my parents will adore you.”

“Yeah, well, don’t you want to introduce them to Geno or somebody?”

“No, why would I want to introduce them to Geno?”

“Because you’re ‘dating’ him?”

“Max, I’m not really dating him. And plus, I’m not going to lie to my parents. I want them to know what’s going on. I want them to meet the man who says he wants to be in my life for quite a while. Unless, you’re backing out of that offer?”

“No, that’s not what I’m saying at all.”

“Then you have absolutely no excuse to not want to meet them.”

“Riley, you can’t make me want to meet them.”

“Oh, I know, I’ll just take something very important away from you.”

“And, what might that be?”

“Sex. No sex until you agree to meet them.” She said it with a completely straight face, but I knew she had to be joking. That couldn’t be for real.

“Are you kidding me? We had sex one time and you’re already depriving me?”

“Just until you come around on this issue about my parents.” And with that, she flounced off downstairs. These next few days were going to be absolute hell until one of us caved.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chapter Twenty Seven

**I'm so sorry for the delay in this story, I've just been extrememly busy lately. I'm also sorry that this chapter is just kind of "filler" so to speak. I promise though, an actual chapter will be coming up (hopefully!) soon. (: Oh! And as always, thanks for reading. <3

“You’ll never catch me, Ryan!” I yelled, skirting around the various forms of shrubbery in the backyard. The sun was beating down fiercely overhead and my sunburn from that trip down to Florida was stinging the bridge of my nose as the wind whipped my face. My plaid dress flapped behind me as I attempted to evade my pursuer.

“That’s what you think!” Ryan called back before making a running dive at my ankles. He caught me, of course, and I flopped down into the soft grass underneath the giant tree. He perched himself across my midsection and looked down at me with a victorious smirk before poking me in the cheek with one finger. “You’re all red.”

“It’s because I’m sun turned, dummy!” I fought beneath him, but he wouldn’t let me go.

“Actually it’s called ‘sun burned’, dummy.” He rolled his eyes at my ‘idiocy’ and then turned back to me. “You look pretty.” He cocked his head to the side after he said it, as if wondering why he did so.

“Don’t say that, Ryan! You’re a boy! It’s gross!” I gathered all my strength and pushed him off of me and into the surrounding grass. “I hate you!” I took off running as fast as I could, coming to a stop on the back patio. I sat down on the swing and closed my eyes, listening to the sounds of summer. When I opened them again, it was nighttime. I was older and so was Ryan, who was perched next to me with his arms around his knees.

“Why does Jason hate me?” I asked, putting my head in my hands. I could feel the hot tears assaulting my jeans as they landed in my lap.

“Jason’s an idiot,” Ryan replied, looking out into the night.

“But why did he invite Katie to the movies and not me?”

“I don’t know,” Ryan answered rather moodily. “But listen, you’re gorgeous, smart, and funny. And Jason’s a moron not to see it.” He suddenly grabbed my hand and kicked the ground, making us swing back and forth. We sat like that for what seemed like hours before it was time to go to bed. “You can sleep in my room if you want. I’ll even let you have the top bunk.” I happily nodded as we headed up to his room. However, sometime during the night, I crept down to the bottom bunk, not really wanting to be alone. When I opened my eyes for the second time and looked to my right, I saw a Ryan that I was much more familiar with. He was looking at me with that toothy grin that I had grown so accustomed to. “I can’t believe we just did that!”

“I know!” I laughed with him as he brushed a stray hair out of my face. He brought his mouth to the side of my neck.

“Round two?” he murmured, biting down softly and automatically causing my back to arch. I could hear myself calling Ryan’s name, but my voice sounded distant. And then I heard another voice all together.

“Riley? Riley?” Max’s features swam into view as I started to wake up. I looked around and noticed how dark it was, then I looked at the clock which read 3:27 AM. As my eyes began to adjust, I noticed the bemused expression on Max’s face. “Well, well, well, what were you dreaming about?”

“I don’t really remember,” I lied. “It’s kind of a blur now.”

“Well from the way and the volume that you were moaning in your sleep, I’d say it sounded pretty good.”

“Oh really?” I tried to keep my tone light and nonchalant.

“I hope you were dreaming about me.” He winked and reached for my hand. I gave it willingly and laid back down, perching my head on his bare chest. I could hear his heart beating, a sound that would normally soothe me, but instead made me antsy and anxious. I waited a few minutes until I was sure Max had gone back to sleep before I slipped out of bed and downstairs. I paced the length of the living room floor, desperately wanting to go somewhere, but not being able to think of a single place to go. My mind was running a million miles a minute. Why on earth did all of those memories of myself and Ryan come back to me in a dream? I suddenly had the urge to pick up my phone and call Ryan to ask if he remembered that stuff as well as I did. Probably not though. I’m the only one with the ridiculous sentimental memory. And even if I wanted to call him, I couldn’t. We weren’t on speaking terms. Why did everything have to be so damn difficult? It seemed like things were finally on the right track with Max and then my subconscious throws a wrench into everything. Thinking about those days with Ryan made me actually miss him and the way things used to be. And, believe me, missing Ryan was the absolute last thing I wanted right now. I’d probably rather get hit by a mack truck than miss him, and that’s saying something. Or, maybe my subconscious was making all that stuff up? What if it never really happened? I walked over to the stand next to the television that housed all of the photo albums my mother gave me. I opened one of the older ones, flipped through a couple of pages, and sure enough, there it was. Staring me right in the face was a picture of myself and Ryan sitting on a patch of grass. And indeed, I was wearing that plaid dress. I even had the same sunburn from my memory. I slammed the book shut and put my head in my hands. What the hell did I want? Well of course I wanted Max, but why when I was finally able to tell him that I loved him did these feelings for Ryan resurface? As if on cue, I heard Max tiptoeing down the stairs. I turned around to see him standing on the last step and the way the moonlight was highlighting his bare chest was enough to make me salivate. “Is everything okay? I noticed you didn’t come back to bed.” I was dimly aware of the fact that he threw on his jeans, but I was too captivated with his well toned abs.

“Yeah, everything’s fine.”

“Are you sure? Did I do something wrong before? Did I hurt you?” I heard the genuine concern in his voice and I felt really bad for worrying him over nothing. He was already leery of sleeping with me because he thought that I thought that he only wanted to get in my pants. And here I was making him feel all awkward about it even thought it was possibly the best sex I’ve had in my life.

“You were absolutely perfect,” I said, walking over to him and placing a hand on his chest.

“Are you sure? I mean, you bolted out of there pretty quickly after you work up.”

“I’m positive, Max. Everything was amazing, you were amazing. Let’s go back to bed.” I followed him up the stairs, desperately trying to shake my head clear of this daze I was in.