Chapter 16 ~ Back in the Saddle
The crowd stands and cheers as one, beer slopping over the rims of their cups, the sound of hands slapping and men congratulating each other like they had something to do with it filling the air. I barely look up at the screen, concentrating instead on the slightly stale peanuts in their small bowl in the middle of the table, like they’re the most interesting things on earth because I can’t look at the screen anymore.
Every time I see Marc, my chest begins to hurt, enough that I have to take a deep breath to ease the sharp pain that feels like a knife is being shoved through my ribs.
Every time I see Jordan, my mouth goes dry and a shudder runs down my spine.
Every time I see them at the same time, one or the other of them seem to be intent on putting his brother somewhere near the fifth row, preferably through the glass and with a stick embedded firmly in his back.
I just can’t watch anymore. It’s too hard. But I’m glad I didn’t actually go to the arena to watch this blood bath. Hearing the reverberation of the boards on the television, mostly drowned out by the general buzz in the bar, is bad enough. I think if I’d actually gone to the game, if I was actually sitting near those boards, I would have been taken out on a stretcher by now.
As it is, I’m wishing that I’d taken Ryan and Miki up on their offer to come to the bar with me. At the time it seemed like a better idea for me to do this alone, but right about now, I could do with the distraction, any distraction and I sure as hell could do with a second opinion on whether or not I should go through with meeting Jordan after the game like I’d promised.
Well, half promised.
That conversation hadn’t really gone that well. It had started out with just a couple of texts; Jordan offering tickets and my saying no, followed by him asking why. That’s when things got sticky.
I didn’t want to tell him Marc had forbidden me. Forbidden me, the thought him saying that still made me smile for some odd reason and yet I was willing to go along with it now. Not because he’d forbidden me, but just because it made sense. Like Jordan had said, blood is thicker than water and who the hell am I to appoint myself the oil in that situation? The last thing I want is to come between them and yet, glancing up at the screen in time to see Marc put his younger brother into his own bench head first, it appears that I already have.
Still, I know given time, this too shall pass and they’ll figure out some way to forgive each other, but only if stay out of it, which is why I’m sitting in a bar full of testosterone crushing peanuts with my fist.
Of course it’s tempting to let Jordan come over tonight and mess up my room and fuck my brains out and I’d probably feel better in the morning but I know I’d also feel guilty as hell and that would ruin any kind of chance at enjoying the afterglow, no matter how earth shattering the sex might be. The problem is I still haven’t told him that.
I’d told him to meet me here after the game, a decision I’m beginning to regret. I thought I owed him an explanation, but now I’m thinking about slinking off with my tail between my legs and going into the witness protection program. Not the bravest of stances certainly but from where I’m sitting, I would say it’s the safest and most sane option.
Of course it also seems like a shame for Jordan to take such a shit kicking for nothing but that’s probably just me looking for an excuse to get into his pants.
Sometimes I can be such a guy.
“Not a hockey fan?”
My hand pauses above a peanut shell and I look up. Way, way up, into a broad smile attached to a blonde haired, blue eyed giant.
“I like hockey,” I admit quietly, going back to taking my frustrations out on the peanut, crushing it below my fist and sending at least one of the nuts skipping across the table. I watch it hit the floor with a slight feeling of consternation. I’m glad I’m not actually paying for these things.
“But you’re not actually watching the game,” he points out unnecessarily as he slides into the empty chair across from me. I look over, and up, at him and find him grinning back at me. Narrowing my eyes at him I shrug.
“I can hear it just fine,” I point out, grabbing another peanut and raising my hand over it, poised to smash it but his very long, pale fingers snatch the innocent legume out from under my fist. I look up at him, my lips pursed, but he only smiles innocently back at me and snaps the shell in two, peeling it back to shake the nuts into his mouth.
“I’d hate to see you waste any more of these and I’m kind of afraid me or one of my teammates is going to slip and break something on one of them.” My hand pauses over the remaining peanuts in the bowl, mid air as I look back over, and up at him.
“Did you say…team mates?” I ask, to which the young blonde grins back at me and nods as he chews thoughtfully on the nuts. “Please tell me that you play for the Knicks or something.”
“What the fuck Marc?” I snap as I push open the door to the dressing room where he’s sitting alone, still in his full kit, staring at the floor.
“What?” he snaps back without so much as looking up at me.
“Have you ever gotten tossed from a game? I mean – ever?” I ask, standing over him, waiting for him to look up at me, but he doesn’t. He just keeps staring at the spot on the floor between his skates, an ice pack on his knuckles. I should fucking hope so too, I think as I press my own ice pack to the spot on my jaw where those knuckles connected.
“I dunno, maybe once,” he shrugs, sliding his swollen hand out from under the ice pack. I wince when I see the bruised and split flesh. Mom is so going to yell at us.
“Well I hope you’ve got it out of your fucking system. You do realize I’m going to have to do wind sprints in practice tomorrow for this. Thanks for that by the way,” I add with a sigh as I take a step towards taking a seat beside him on the bench but he stops me with a look that would frighten small children.
“Just because I’m not yelling doesn’t mean I’m not still pissed at you,” he hisses threateningly.
“Yeah well, she didn’t take my tickets to the game if that makes you feel better.” I’m guessing that it doesn’t by the way he rolls his eyes and shakes his head at me. “Look man, I’ve said I’m sorry and….”
“Fuck your sorry. Sorry doesn’t cut it Jordo. You and Jared, you’re always doing stupid shit and you think saying sorry makes it all better. Well it fucking doesn’t okay?” He snarls, kicking his skate towards mine. “Don’t see her anymore. That might make it better. Might,” he adds seriously as his gaze searches mine to see if I’m going to give in. For a minute, a long minute, I think about telling him how I’m supposed to meet her at a bar nearby but then I decide not to poke the bear some more tonight.“Whatever man. If you’re going to see her just…just don’t tell me…don’t tell me anything.”
Figuring that’s probably the closest I’m going to get to him giving me his blessing, I keep my mouth shut and back out of the room.
I may have been tossed out during the second period and had a fight with my brother that I’m sure is going to cause me more grief with my family but some good has to come out of all of this. I get more time with Tippi before curfew.
“No, no hockey players.” Downing the rest of my drink I push my chair back and reach for my purse but his long arm is there first and I’m suddenly standing there, looking up, way, way up at a purse snatching hockey player that’s tall enough to play center for any professional basketball team in the NBA.
“Do you want me to scream?” I ask, holding my hand out for my purse. I only realize that I walked straight into that one when the corner of his full lips turns up in a smirk.
“Maybe later,” he purrs, holding my purse towards me but still out of my reach. “But maybe you wanna dance or have a game of pool first?”
“So the part about no hockey players, that didn’t sink in…Stretch?” I ask, reaching for my purse again, only to have him pull it back and out of my reach. Not nice, so not nice. I pull my leg back, ready to give him a good solid kick to the shins but he laughs and shakes his head at me.
“So you’re telling me that you were checking out my ass since the middle of the first period and now I don’t even get to buy you a drink?” he asks, that big grin on his face growing wider as I feel my cheeks burn in frustration.
“I was…,” my voice trails away as I realize that I had been doing that very thing. I mean, not really intentionally but I had definitely had a couple of peeks at it while I was ignoring the television screens. “Well so what if I was? It wasn’t an invitation.”
“So an attractive woman like you, sitting on her own, checking out my ass…and you’re going home alone?” he asks, his eyebrows raising above his blue eyes as he lets the question hang in the air between us. I look up at his young, boyish face with its high sharp cheekbones and his full sensuous mouth and suddenly I think – why not? I’d been thinking all night how frustrated I was going to be, having to tell Jordan that I couldn’t have sex with him so why not?
“No,” I say quietly, holding my hand out for my purse but taking a couple of steps closer to this tall, tall young man, “you’re coming home with me. But I’m not playing pool or dancing and I don’t want to know your name either and I’m not telling you mine. No names, that’s my rule.”
“Well if that’s the rule then I guess I’ll just have to call you Goddess,” he says quietly as he wraps his long arm around my waist and goes in for a kiss. Arching my back and turning my head I give him my cheek and nothing more. Not here anyway.
“And I’ll call you Lurch if you keep this up. Now c’mon, before the third period, you’re blocking everyone’s view. Shit…what do they feed you kids these days? How the hell do you all get so damn tall? And don’t say anything about everyone being the same size lying down or I’ll leave without you.”
I scan the crowd again but don’t see her. Still, I delve into the crowd, searching table to table, but still don’t turn up anyone that even looks like her. Not that that’s really possible. I mean, how many six foot Asian goddesses are there?
Giving up, I take out my cell phone and try her number, listening more for something ringing around me but I don’t hear that or voice mail. The line just goes dead.
“Been stood up?” I look down at a curvy blonde wiggling her way towards me and just shake my head. If I still have even the slightest chance at having filet mignon, I’m not going to settle for a burger.
“No, pretty sure I just got my wires crossed. Thanks,” I add backing out of the bar and onto the street to hire a cab thinking that I’m glad I’d missed her earlier when I’d called her place. Her roommate had given me the address. I was going to send a car for her until she called me and told me she wasn’t going to make the game.
She probably worked even later than she had planned to, I think as I give the driver the address from my blackberry. She’s probably home getting changed. Girl s can take forever at that shit. I’ll just surprise her.
Besides, that’s just less time for small talk at the bar and more time we can spend fucking like energizer bunnies I think to myself as I settle back into the seat , grinning to myself.
“Holy shit!” I breathe, feeling the slick tile against my back as he presses me against the wall, feeling the tiles rolling up and down my back as I he – for lack of a better term – bounces me up and down on his cock as the steam of the shower surrounds us. “Does your dick ever go down?”
“Not when I’ve got something as hot as you on it, no,” he grins at me as he nips at my bottom lip. Holding on for dear life, I tighten my grip around his neck and try to ignore the cooling water dripping into my eyes.
“I don’t suppose you ever get tired either?” I whimper as I feel him slide up into me or me down onto him. I can’t really tell which way is up now never mind anything else. All I do know if that his fingers and his neck aren’t the only long things on his body and I’m getting close to cumming for fifth time already and he doesn’t seem to need any recovery time at all.
“Not really,” he laughs, letting me down only long enough to press me face forward against the slick tiles, stepping between my feet and pulling my hips up so that he can push himself into me from behind. Moaning, I close my eyes and press my forehead against the tiles, which are still warm despite the water having gone cold.
“Oh holy shit it feels even bigger from that angle!” I groan, reaching up to grab onto the shower head with ne hand, anything to hold onto. Not that I actually believe Stretch will let me fall. My other hand reaches for the shower curtain, not even caring if I pull it down, but it isn’t there.
Opening my eyes, I look for the curtain but where it should be is Jordan, and he doesn’t look even a little happy.