Thursday, September 8, 2011

chapter fifteen

I am three things in the morning after I drop Kristen off at work: anxious to see her again, wildly proud of myself and horny as fuck.

Time passes slowly because there is a lot of it - I will not see her tonight.  For the first time in six day, I do not have Kristen to look forward too.  And the more time I spent looking back on our first time together, the more mixed my feelings.  I earned that, I won it, I convinced her that I was worth it.  Five days felt like a lifetime.  But then it was an eternity since I’d been with a girl - in truth, about a month - and I was a two-pump chump.


She didn’t seem to mind, but I’ll make it up to her anyway.  If only she weren’t out tonight.  If I had known, I might have waited.  Two more days?  I could have made it.  Now I fear the floodgates have opened.  My dick agrees with me by twitching hard at the sense memory of her.

After working out, there’s physical therapy and a doctor’s visit.  When I leave the sterile office, my phone has a message waiting.

Kristen: Hi.

That’s it.  It’s enough to make me want to jerk off in the car.

Me: I wish I could see you tonight.

Kristen: You waited FIVE WHOLE DAYS before.

Me: That’s all I had, I’m spent.

Kristen: Channel some Toews.  I bet he never gives in.

Me: That’s why he never gets laid.

The phone doesn’t beep again until I’m home, finishing lunch.  The one blessing of my cast is I can’t do dishes, so I pile them in the sink and hurry to see Kristen’s reply.  But it’s from Brent Seabrook instead.  He got into town today along with Duncan Keith.

Brent: Tearing it up tonight.  The Wharf at 8.

Thank God, I think.  Because if I have to spend tonight alone in a bed that smells like her, I will possibly injure my own penis beyond repair.  Or I will turn up at her place in the middle of the night, Spider-Man the wall and hope to pick the right window. I tell myself there will be more nights, this is the start of everything.

The start of sex, says Old Me.  I’d hoped he’d be quiet after he got some.

I swear the entire office can tell I had sex this morning.  When I move too quickly I smell Patrick on my skin, in my hair: the warm scent of bed and boy.  On a thermal camera, I’d be white hot.  Shifting in my seat for the two millionth time this hour, I try to block out the sounds of his raspy voice apologizing for surrender.  If only he knew how much I had to give up to get there.

It feels better than I could have imagined.  Only five days ago I was still a miserable wreck - I couldn’t see how miserable until I was looking back at it.  The real reason my coworkers are staring is that for the first time in recent memory, I look unabashedly happy.

“Hey, you good for tonight?” Teresa asks.  She’s dying to ask for gory details and if I were seeing Toews, I’d be required to present hidden camera footage at the staff meeting.  Her eyebrows are raised like I have permission to speak freely.

“Yeah, I’m set.”  It’s all I say because the rest is for me.

I wish I weren’t set though.  I wish this event were on another night so Patrick and I could finish what we started, or keep starting something that I hoped would go on and on.  Because God damn it, I feel good today.

“Jane,” I whisper into the phone.

“Oh my God you did it!” she shrieks.  I slam a hand over the receiver and wait for someone in my office to scream.  Two... three.. back on the line.


“Kristen.  Thank.  God.”  She’s stopping after every word like a hyperactive telegram.  “No one in the history of time ever needed to get laid as bad as you.  So!??!?!”

“It was... it was a huge relief, Jane.  It was great and it was just us and I finally just... asked him.”

She stops dead, her voice flat.  “You asked him?  You asked him?”  


“Icannotbelieveit!” she squeals almost incoherently.  I cover the phone again.

“Admit it, Kristen.”

“I told you, I asked him!”

“Not that!”

There are so many things I could say.  “You were right.”

“Not that.  Well, that too!  But not that.”  She waits; she’ll wait all day.

“I like him,” I whisper.  It sounds like I’m standing outside the front door Lloyd Dobbler-style as it belts from a boom box over my head.

“I knew it,” she says.  “I knew it the second you tried to run away.”

“What’s up, Patty?!” Brent hollers as I roll into the dining room at The Wharf steakhouse.  He’s tan from the summer, that scrub brush of thick dark hair all coming to a widow’s peak on his forehead.  With his shirt open one button too many, he’s turning every female head in this place.  And most of the men.

“Kaner, good to see ya!” Duncan Keith practically lifts me off the floor.  His false teeth are in - thank God, there’s no place for that hillbilly look in here.  Aside from the too-long hair pushed behind his ears he could almost pass for a gentleman too.  There are two nearly-empty highball glasses on the table: they started early.

“Hey man, let’s get you a drink!” Seabs hails a waitress who nearly hurdles a table in the rush to get to us.  She presses her leg against his arm and he doesn’t shy away.  Just the thought of sexual contact makes me dig my nails into the palm of my one good hand.

“Our friend here needs a Black Label neat with a water back, and another round for us.”

I settle into my seat - the waitress’ eyes never leave Brent’s thighs.  Tonight will definitely be distracting.

When we have drinks we order food, when the food comes we order more drinks.  Cutting steak with only one good hand is tricky, but I decline the guys’ offers to cut my food like I’m a toddler.  They’re too drunk to do much better anyway.  Only well before the season starts can we do this in public, or if we’re holding the Cup when it’s all done.  Still I go slower.  This is not the first time I want my name in print this season.

We leave the restaurant and the bars and clubs are picking up speed.  We hit a nearby swanky spot, then leave after the two girls Keith was alternating between kissing start hurling insults at each other and clinging to him like cats.  Their feistiness is nothing compared to how wired I feel.  It’s nearly eleven and even I’m feeling foggy.

“There!”  Brent points to a new lounge-looking place across the street.  There’s a velvet rope outside, staffed by two huge bouncers and one girl in a silver sequin dress.  She might be taller than Duncan in her skyscraper heels.  A steady pump of bass issues from behind the frosted windows.


We caught the bouncer’s eye when a car honked angrily at us jaywalking over.  He simply lifts the rope and we follow the Amazon blond into the darkness.

The ceiling is high and huge crystal chandeliers manage to sparkle while barely giving off any lights.  The glow is almost ethereal - it’s really good.  Low slung couches line the walls, beautiful people in beautiful clothes lay across them like merchandise.  She flourishes her arm toward a VIP table in the middle the fray.

“Nice to be home,” Brent says, dropping onto the sofa.  A waitress in a strapless black dress with red stripes down the sides appears and starts pouring drinks.  She leans over so far that I think she might stir then with her nipples.  Brent sits back and enjoys the view, Duncan is already surveying the potentials.

I take a spot next to Seabrook.  It feels good to sit down - my drinking regimen suffered while my training regimen improved.  The alcohol is going to my head more than normal.  And instead of feeling energized, my usual manic rush, I feel drugged.

“Wake up, you pussy!” Keith shoves a drink under my nose.  “I heard you went all Tazer on us this summer but fuck, kid, now is the time.  Training camp comes and it’s lock down.”

He’s right.  The lack of urge to tear it up surprises me, but it doesn’t stop me from downing the shot he poured.

“This is so boring,” Arianna whispers.  We stand near the dessert table, hoping that full mouths will discourage people from talking to us.  I cannot regurgitate one more sales pitch about the effectiveness and reach of social group discount marketing.  All our clients are here and I’ve been holding the same glass of champagne all night.

Arianna leans in a little closer.  “All I wanna do is take off these fucking shoes and watch Bachelor Pad. We can’t all have Patrick Kane to go home to.”

I try not to choke on my two-bite walnut brownie.  Speaking of which, I haven’t heard from Patrick all night.  He mentioned going out with some of his teammates and I told him to have fun.  Well, I said ‘don’t get into any trouble’ then erased it.  Twice.

All at once I trust him.  This morning was like one of those tests where you close your eyes and fall backward, only to be caught a second later.  And then you’re safe.

“I’d settle for Bachelor Pad if we could take these brownies,” I whisper back.

I am drunk.  Sitting down was fine, then I stood up to go to the bathroom.  Now I’m back on the couch and the magic of stillness has left me.

Everything is moving now.  The beat of the music makes the floor tremble through my shoes.  The lights spin and swirl, the people race between them.  Duncan’s hand inches up some girl’s skirt.  The ice cubes in my glass dance.


I look up at the sounds of the voice.  Our little area is roped off, but someone has slipped through.  Her face is shadowed by the club lights, which illuminate only a halo around the edge of her hair.  She moves in front of me - short dress, high heels.

“Remember me?”

Then she’s in my lap.  With a drink in one hand and a cast on the other, I can neither hold her nor push her off.  She flips her hair back and I see her face.  Something is familiar, maybe, in the cloudy backstage of my brain.  No information is needed to make my dick notice her presence.  It’s been like a dog begging at the table all day - feed it once and you create a monster.

She smiles with one side of her mouth.  “I didn’t think so.”

Form her perch in my lap, she reaches forward and makes herself a drink: lots of vodka, a little cranberry.  Her weight feels like mine, making me heavy, making me slow.  My brain refuses to respond to questioning but there is a reason why I shouldn’t be doing this.  No lights come on when I flip the switch.  She tips the glass against my lips and I feel a cold slip all the way down to the fire building between my hips.

Then she touches the same part of the rim to her glossy mouth, tilts her head back and drains the entire glass in one go.  Her tiny Adam’s apple bobs gently along what I must admit is a nice, slender throat.  Something is off here, but I cannot place it.

The girl sets her glass silently on the table, then brings her hand down where her thigh rests atop mine.  Slowly, she slides it from her own leg to mine, the width of her hand is just a centimeter more than the space available.  Now her hand is in my crotch.  I struggle for breath.

“Hmmm,” she smiles, feeling my body respond in record time while my brain struggles to catch.  While I’m distracted by the feeling of her palm gripping my inner thigh she leans in closer and puts her lips to my neck.

The move is instinct - I roll my head to give her access.  Surely she must taste liquor on even my skin.  As her teeth gently sink into the skin and find purchase, she rubs the back of her hand along my growing erection.

New Me knows not to do this.  The same part that knows when to stop drinking, or keep my shirt on, or just shake off a bad call.  

But Old Me has fucked with the wiring, stolen the memory cards that contain what comes after this part.  Old Me has erased the ending of the stories, leaving only the part where I’ve spent the last fifteen hours trying not to come in my pants.  

The girl in my lap is Old Me’s alter ego.  That must be why I think I recognize her.  My old opponent, my arch nemesis, my rival.  New Me wants to put up a fight, but he’s drowning in Black Label and hormones.

“Let’s get out of here,” she whispers, her lips cold from another sip of drink and grazing my earlobe.  “Take me home.”

I don’t say goodbye, not that either teammate would hear me.  I don’t see anything between the club and the cab.  I don’t register her address or the way to her bedroom.  Every nerve ending fires like the last salvo of a sinking ship - it’s all hands on deck here.  Except for my brain, rendered useless, and my heart, taken hostage.  Autopilot blinks on toward her bedroom.

She kisses me and I kiss her back.  We strip each others close, touching and fumbling.  Her fingers move quickly, more quickly than my thoughts, as if maybe she’s not so drunk as I am.  And there’s nothing wrong with the way her mouth works either.

There are patterns in the plaster on her ceiling - I see them as I lie on my back.  They change and rearrange, confusing my eyes.  She moves in and out of them, moving on top of me but something is wrong.  She comes into view close to my face, talking but I can’t understand.  Her bare shoulders captivate me.  She lifts my hands to her thighs and higher, but they slide right back to the bed again.  

“You’ll fucking well remember this,” she says.  It’s the last thing I remember from that night.

My phone beeps, sharp and loud.  I fumble toward the noise.  My hand closes around it and I struggle to make out the bright image in the darkness of my bedroom.  It’s after two in the morning.

A picture swims into view.  Two faces.  Four bare shoulders.  One face has eyes closed, sleeping: it’s Patrick.  My eyes instantly focus.  

The other face is a girl.  

The girl from the park.

The single line of text beneath the photo reads: From doggy bag to breakfast in bed.


  1. OMG! Please update tonight!

  2. Patrick, Patrick, Patrick, how could you?

  3. Oh my God. Noooooo! Poor Kristen! Please update it tonight! I am begging you!

  4. Ohhhh no. Not good :( What a terribly bitchy girl. I would seriously love to punch her in the face.

  5. Cliffhanger!! You're mean...and amazing for leaving it there!

  6. ahhh freaking out, love this story<3 im a penguins fan at heart, but you know every girl out there has a little soft spots for boys like Kaner. Update soon so i have something to read at work lol.