Sunday, March 16, 2014


Rae's POV

I look up from the book I'm reading as I hear him bounding down the stairs with his suitcases. He heads to the door, places his bags on the ground, and then makes his way toward me.

"Hawks, Predators, Sharks, Ducks, Capitals, right?" I call over my shoulder, trying to recall the schedule for the 10 day road trip he's about to leave for.

"Yep," he responds while flopping down on the couch next to me. He picks up my hand that was previously resting on my knee, gently rubbing his fingers over mine. "I wish you were making the trip with us. I miss having you there," he adds while squeezing my hand and making me look him in the eyes.

"I know," I whisper while scooting over closer to him. He raises his arm, giving me the perfect nook to fall in to. "Ten days is a long time. I'm going to miss you," I pout. He laughs, causing my whole body to shake. He pulls my face up to his, catching my lips in a short kiss.

"I'll call you like I always do," he adds while running his fingers through my hair. "And we'll Skype." I nod my head, knowing it's true. We talk daily. "What do you have going on this week?"

"I have a few rounds to make at the Children's Hospital. I told them I'd bring them new books by this week. I'm also helping out a couple of days at the animal shelter." I look up at Sid and he's beaming.

"That's my girl," he says while kissing the top of my forehead. I automatically retract and scoot over until I'm leaning on the armrest of the couch instead of him. Of course this excites him. It makes me a proper dutiful WAG. And being the wife of the captain of the team, my amount of charity work does not go unnoticed. I love going and visiting the kids, talking about books. But why can't it be enough that it is merely something I like to do, not that I'm doing it to make him look good? "I think I'm going to enroll in some classes next semester," I add nonchalantly.

"Oh, yeah?" he asks, perking up. 'This is why I love him,' I think to myself. He's not anything like me, but yet he always gets excited about trivial things that I love that mean nothing to him. Somehow, we made our two worlds mesh. Well, almost.

"Nothing in particular," I respond, trying to be vague. "Probably just some literature classes." Now, this is what concerns me; how casually I lie to my husband.

Sid's POV

"I think it's a great idea," I respond. And I do, honestly. I know she needs something to fill her time when I'm out of town, but I also find it alarming. All of our fighting stems back to pretty much one thing; her job. Or her old job at least, the one she quit for me a little over two years ago, which leaves me questioning why now? "I've got to head out, babe, or I'll be late."

"Play safe," she almost whispers, her eyes full of concern.

I nod my head. It's the same 'good luck' comment I get before every home game and before I fly out for an away game ever since I had that last concussion.

"Are you okay?" I ask. I don't need to reference anything, she knows I'm talking about how I found he earlier this morning. She simply nods her head in response. I leave her alone, because I know that she'll talk to me about it when she's ready. I didn't even know she had started applying for jobs again.

"Don't let Kane try any of his tricks. And watch Dillon, don't skate with your head down around him. No comment about the Capitals," she adds while scrunching up her nose.

"You got it," I respond, pulling her into another kiss, this one lasting longer as she finally melts into my touch. There might be a million thoughts running through her head that she's not telling me, but this is how I know we'll be okay. "I love you."

"I love you, too," she sighs.

Sid's POV

I've got a jump to my step that everyone can notice, and it's not the normal one that I get after every practice. I'm getting ready in a hurry, trying to avoid the media as much as possible so that I can get out of here, which everyone also notices.

"What's with you, kid?" Billy G asks while sitting down next to me. "Not going to skate 2,000 extra sprints after practice today?" he continues with a smirk.

"I'm ready to lace back up if you are," I respond, nodding my head down to my skates, which makes him chuckle

"Nah, these old legs don't have that in them anymore. Got plans or something?"

"I don't know yet," I smile. And it's true. I know that I could walk down to Larry's office and she might not be at her makeshift desk. She actually hasn't been around quite a bit here recently, which has me concerned. It has been 6 days since she's stormed out of my bedroom, not bothering to respond to my question. And I let her go; now more than ever I'm realizing how dumb of  decision that was. "I guess I need to go find out," I add before pulling my hoodie on over my tshirt and pulling a hat down low on my head.

I head off to the heart of the arena where the offices are located. I hear deep voices and the mention of her name and I know that I'm in luck. I knock slightly to announce my arrival only to find Mario and Larry close to the door, as if they were on their way out; they aren't really who I'm interested in looking at though as my eyes fall on her.

"Hey, Sid," Mario greets, both of the men turning and facing me, giving me a proper hello. I smile, stealing a glance at her again only to find her pointing vigorously toward the door and lipping the words 'get out'. The look on my face causes the two men to become curious, both turning around to look at Rae, who is smoothly tucking her hair behind her ears, not flapping her arms like a bird anymore.

"Hello, Sidney," she adds by way of good manners.

"Got a problem?" Larry asks, catching me off guard.

"Oh, no," I shrug nonchalantly. A couple of seconds follow my response and I know all three sets of eyes trained on me are wondering why I've meandered down to the offices. "I just thought I'd invite Rae to tonight's game," I add, because it seems like a good cover up. I've heard her slight accent, the way she pronounce the all-telling long 'O' sound in her words; She's Canadian.  What Canadian doesn't like hockey? "I've never seen her around at any of the home games and thought she might like to come.."

"How thoughtful of you, Sidney," Mario smiles. "Rae? What do you say, join us in the box tonight?"

"That's a steep offer to decline," she smiles, and I think she has agreed, which is a nice place to start with what I'm about to propose. "I'm more of a Canuck than a Penguin," she admits. "I'm sure the game would be excellent, but I'm scheduled to work tonight."

"A Canuck in the heart of the land of the Penguins, who would have guessed," Mario laughs, shaking his head in dismissal before he and Larry both head for the door. "Maybe next time, Rae," he calls over his shoulder before they both leave us alone.

We both sit there, starring at each other for a handful of seconds, waiting until both men have moved further out of distance.

"What time do you work?" I ask, breaking the silence. She continues to look at me before shaking her head and gathering her jacket and other belongings.

"You can't do this, Sidney," she responds in her "business" voice.

"I have some free time this afternoon, I wondered if you wanted to catch a movie or something," I counter. "And you can call me 'Sid' you know, everyone else does."

"I normally call general acquaintances by their given name," she jokes.

"After our last visit, I'd say we are more than acquaintances," I respond, watching the way her cheeks blush. Good.

"So you want me to come to the game, you want to watch a movie, or you want to talk about the other night, which is it?" There are the claws I had anticipated.

"We don't have to talk about the other night," I offer, partially because I know picking that objective will get me no where fast. She doesn't even want to be around me, why would she want to discuss something serious? "And you can pick your own venue, arena or movie theater?" I smile.

Rae's POV

His smile makes me falter, if only for a second. His presence reminds me of the other night, how could it not? I've had visions of him running through my thoughts for days now. I know that I should decline, it's what any smart woman would do in this situation. On the other hand, it's just a movie. As friends. That seems appropriate enough.

He continues to stare at me as I have my internal debate and I can't help but notice how cute he is; he's wearing jeans and a hoodie with a hat pulled down low over his curly brown hair, still wet from his post practice shower. It would be completely unruly, as it's obvious he didn't brush it, if not for the hat.

"I wasn't lying, you know," I state while shifting from one foot to the other under his watchful gaze. "My shift starts at seven."

"I need to be at the arena by 5, so that's not a problem," he responds casually, stepping closer to me and taking my jacket out of my hands before hold it up for me and helping me into it. It's a simple gesture, but it catches me off guard. Do men even do that anymore?

"I just need to stop by my apartment to change my clothes first," I reply while gesturing down to my work clothes. He nods his head, the look on his face beaming of success. I find myself smiling before shaking my head and walking past him toward the door.

"Did you drive here?" he calls behind me and I shake my head no in response. "How did you get here then?"

"I walked," I respond, not thinking anything of it until I see the look on his face. "What?"

"You walked?" he asks seeming mystified by the idea. I nod my head yes again. "In those shoes?" he asks incredulously while giving me the once over. I chuckle to myself.

"Yes, in these shoes."

"You can ride with me then," he states simply while locking his hand in mine and dragging me toward the players parking lot. I look down at where his hand connects while mine and smile while telling myself I'm not quite sure if I like being told what to do or not.

Sid's POV

She directs me toward her apartment, which is conveniently almost exactly in between the arena and the college campus. I pull my SUV up to the curb, throw it in park, and cut the engine.

"You can come up if you'd like," she offers before opening her door. I nod my head yes, because I'd like that very much.

She pushes through the front door, ignores the elevator and leads me to the stairs where she proceeds to climb 4 levels to the top, then makes her way all the way down the hallway to the last door before getting her key out and opening the door.

She ushers me inside a small studio apartment before closing the door and shimmying, as that's the only way it can be described, out of her coat and puts it on the coat hanger to her left. As she makes her way over to her bedroom area I look around the room, instantly drawn to the huge window that takes up the entire wall opposite of where her bed is. I'm mesmerized; it's a beautiful view of downtown Pittsburgh.

"I know it's small, but it's so close to campus and the view is amazing."

I turn around, responding to her voice, only to find her in various parts of undress; she's still got her tank top on from the outfit she wore to work, but her high heels are gone and the pair of jeans she has on are still unbuttoned. She laughs, I'm sure at the look on my face,  before raising her hand and gesturing for me to turn around. I laugh to myself as well before turning around and making my way toward the couch and sitting down.

"Do you know what movie you want to see?" she asks while plopping down on the couch next to me, dressed in jeans, a shirt, a zip up hoodie, and a pair of toms. She's also put her hair up into a pony tail so that it's out of her face; all but a few loose strands. And of course she's wearing the pair of glasses that are always present on the bridge of her nose.

"I honestly don't even know what's showing," I admit while shrugging my shoulders. It wasn't about the movie anyways, it was about spending time with her. She chuckles before responding.

"I guess that means it's my pick," she grins while standing up, which really doesn't increase her height all that much. I look her up and down before laughing a little. She can't be taller than 5'1".  

"What?" She questions.

"Nothing," I add before shaking my head. "I didn't realize how small you were without high heels."

She scrunches her nose before bating at my hand and heading toward the door.