I awoke the next morning to the buzzing of my phone. In my rush to go to bed last night I had forgotten to take it off vibrate. It was now vibrating to no end on my dresser. I opened my eyes to the sunlight pouring in and reached over for the phone. Seven missed calls and one new text. I opened the phone and leafed through the seven calls, all of which were from Ryan. I sighed heavily and read the text next, which was from Geno. It read “bring skates to practice (:” I had planned on spending all day in bed, but it seemed that life had other plans for me. So, a bit unwillingly, I hopped out of bed and into the shower. When I got out, my phone was ringing. I looked down to see that it was Ryan and I pressed ignore before going downstairs and making breakfast. I sat in my robe reading the paper while my water boiled for tea. It was not only until I was on the forth page that I noticed it was yesterday’s paper. Going outside seemed like such a chore, but I wanted to find out what was happening in the world. I opened the door to hear some birds singing. It sounded so fake even to my ears. As I walked down the driveway I saw a little girl and her mother to my left and I saw a man with a golden retriever to my right. I grabbed the paper and headed for the house. When I stepped up onto the threshold, something caught my eye. On the railing was a single rose. I picked it up, examined it, then looked around for a note. However, I knew who it was from without it. Back inside, my phone was ringing again. This time, I answered it.
“I got your rose,” I said stiffly.
“I’m sorry,” Ryan’s voice was on the other end.
“Okay,” I said.
“Please don’t be like that,” he pleaded with me.
“Be like what? Angry that you even thought to hold above my head the fact that you have a wife? When you supposedly ‘don’t care’?” I asked bitterly.
“I didn’t, meant to. I’m sorry. I love you,” he said. I heard his words but didn’t quite believe my ears.
“You…what?” I asked shocked.
“I love you,” he repeated, more sweetly than the first. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to this. Did I love him? Would saying it anyway be wrong? He sensed my hesitation because the next words out of his mouth were, “Don’t feel obligated to say it back to me. I just wanted you to know how I feel.”
“Oh, uh, okay,” I stammered into the phone.
“Are you coming to practice?” he asked.
“Uh-huh,” was all I managed.
“Am I forgiven?” he asked. I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Yeah, you are,” I answered.
“Thank you. I’ll see you in a bit,” he finished before he hung up. I closed my phone and stared at it for a moment before shaking off what just happened. I ran upstairs to finish dressing, grabbed my skates, and was out the door in minutes.
When I arrived at the Igloo, “my” security guard was there.
“Hey, its’ you,” he said, smiling as I entered. “I guess you really did know him.”
“See, I told you,” I said, smiling back.
“You need to get in to see Ryan?” he asked me. I didn’t feel like explaining the whole story so I just agreed and he let me enter. I made my way to the lounge area and proceeded to tie the skates myself. It actually wasn’t so hard when there wasn’t a hot guy next to me watching me tie them. I finished lacing them and stood, a little wobbly at first, then made my way out onto the ice. I assumed my usual position on the bench and waited for the guys to skate in. After around ten minutes or so, they did. They skated out one by one. Kris Letang was the first one I saw. I caught his eye and gave him a wink. He was so distracted by this that he crashed right into the net. It was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen. While the guys laughed at him, Geno helped him up, then skated over to me. At the same exact time, my cousin also skated over.
“Hey,” they both started. The boys looked at each other, then back at me.
“Um, I’ll come back,” Ryan said gruffly before skating away. I was now left with just Geno, which I was grateful for.
“Hey Geno,” I said to him before putting my hand over his. He had removed his glove before skating over, therefore, we had skin to skin contact. His hand felt warm beneath my chilly fingers. His warmth made me feel warm and before I knew it, I was smiling to myself, utterly contented. He picked up on my body language and put his other hand (now glove free as well) on my right cheek. I felt the same warmth, but now on a larger scale, radiating throughout me. It made me happy, genuinely happy. We stayed like that for a moment and I was beginning to realize how perceptive he was, even if his English wasn’t 100 percent there. I breathed deeply making no effort to move. His fingers traced gentle patterns on my face and it made me feel like a school girl. I felt giddy and silly.
“What the fuck?” I heard Ryan speak aloud as he skated past. Only then did I realize my eyes had been closed and I opened them to find Ryan brooding in a corner of the rink.
‘Jealous son of a bitch,’ I thought to myself. I tried to put myself back in that intimate moment we just shared, but I couldn’t and I was mad that we lost it. However, before I even knew what was happening, Geno leaned over to kiss me. I felt his mouth on mine and every nerve ending lit up. He kissed me deeply and my mouth moved with his. I reached out to grab anything I could and finally caught a hold of his practice jersey. I used this as a grip and pulled him, wanting him closer to me. He willingly obliged and leaned further over the barrier that separated us. With his hands on either side of my face, he kissed me harder until I was dizzied with only thoughts of him. I could feel his tongue on my bottom lip, seeking entrance and I happily allowed it. While our battle for dominance began, I moved hands up to his hair and intertwined my fingers in it. I could feel him slowing his pace and I knew that he would want to break apart soon. With one final rush, he separated himself from me, only to find that he was leaning halfway over the wall. He looked down, laughed, then righted himself. I broke my gaze away from him to take in the boys and see what their reaction was. Everyone seemed amused except Ryan, Max, Kris, and surprisingly Sid. Those four were just looking at us with blank expressions. After a moment of silence, life came back to the foursome. Ryan seemed bewildered, Max seemed pissed, Kris seemed devastated, and Sid seemed confused. Geno must have seen me looking at the boys.
“I don’t care what they think,” he started, “they the guys…just the guys.” This statement made me even more fond of him. He didn’t care about kissing me in front of his friends. He wasn’t embarrassed and that fact thrilled me. “I be back,” he said before kissing me on the forehead. He skated over to the guys and was greeted by a high five from Marc-Andre Fleury and a slap on the back by Jordan Staal. I rolled my eyes and wondered why all guys were the same. As I contemplated this thought, my mind drifted through various daydreams involving myself and Geno. All of which ended in some sultry sex scenario. I could only imagine how pleasurable having sex with him would be. He was so strong and I wondered what it would feel like if he held me. I also wondered what it would be like to be handled by those massive hands. I sighed to myself and continued to let my mind wander. About an hour later, when I was not mentally there at all, something brought me back to attention.
Chapter Six - Tied Together
7 years ago