Saturday, February 13, 2010

39.) Joker

I just realized how long it's been since I’ve thanked you all, once again, for reading and/or commenting. I realize I say this all the time, but really, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. When you take the few minutes to type your thoughts, your words provide me a great boost, and they also give me a sense of direction. So, I’ll tell you again: thank you a billion times over! I hope you enjoy.

Soundtrack Song - Kris Allen, Live Like We're Dying

When I got to the arena, I headed down to the dressing room so I could wish luck to all the boys before the game. I didn’t like being there, seeing Lovejoy lace up his skates in my stall next to Goligoski. I should have been playing.

“Ugh, Tanger, I think you left something here,” Lovejoy said.

I raised an eyebrow at him, and he smirked and threw something red at me. With my quick reflexes, I caught it and then looked down to what was in my hand. My face turned the same shade of the red, furry handcuffs now in my possession.

Staal and Kennedy burst into fits of laughter, having to lean over and hold their sides as they yukked it up at my expense. Their loud antics got the attention of everyone else around us, and soon they were all looking at me and what was in my hand. Those two obviously hadn’t told anyone about what Jo had said when she was out of it, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t plan on letting everyone else know now.

I did my best to play it off as nothing. “Thanks. I was wondering where these went,” I casually lied with a subtle smile, getting those ‘cuffs out of view by slipping them into my pocket.

“Oh my God, I think Tanger grew a sense of humor!” Bourque hollered. “When the hell did that happen?”

Once again, I tried to ignore it. “Good luck tonight, guys.”

Staalsy finally stopped laughing enough to say, “Taking ’em home with you? You gonna use those tonight, Tanger? Jo tying you up again, or are you going to be the one in charge this time?”

“Don’t forget the keys!” TK added, tossing those in my direction also. I caught them too, quickly shoving them into my pocket as well. This was humiliating.

Dupuis stepped beside me and placed his hand on my shoulder, as if letting me in on a great secret. “Don’t worry, piglet,” he advised, mockingly serious. I hate that fucking nickname. “It’s all a part of having a healthy sex life. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.” I jerked my body, making him release his grip on my shoulder. He continued, “And, fortunately, the sex handcuffs have safety releases built in. Just in case you lose the keys. Or in case your new petite amie gets a little too frisky and you need to escape.”

“Thanks, I’ll remember that,” I sighed with a roll of my eyes. I hoped that this was the end of my mortification. I had forgotten about Jo’s comments until they played this little joke on me, and now the entire team knew. As if it weren’t bad enough last night, I had to relive it now.

“Who says he’ll want to escape? Apparently, Tanger has a kinky side that none of us knew about,” Staal chuckled. “What else are you hiding from us, Letang?”

I shook my head, refusing to speak, but it didn’t matter; Bourque spoke up next. “He’ll never tell. We’ll just have to get Jo drunk again to see what other juicy tidbits she’ll spill.”

“She wasn’t drunk,” I corrected.

“She was all fuckered up,” Borky insisted. “Jessica told me about what went down in the bathroom.”

I tried to keep my temper under control. It bothered me that this was the impression they all had of her. Sure, last night didn’t go at all how I would have liked it to, but she had a lot of things going against her—and they weren’t giving her a chance. “She was drugged.” The guys around me all stopped to listen. The light atmosphere was sucked out of the room, leaving us in a somber vacuum. “Jo wasn’t herself last night, okay? I don’t want you to think that that’s the kind of person she is.”

“No worries, man,” Gogo interjected quietly. “It could’ve happened to anyone. She’s good now though, right?”

Nodding, I silently thanked him for understanding. “Yeah. Yeah, she’s doing all right now. She’s at home with her friend, who’s taking care of her.”

Some of the guys smiled and inclined their heads, showing me that they were glad the outcome wasn’t as bad as it could have been; the rest all looked away and tried to act like they weren’t privy to the information, like they hadn’t just heard what had happened. To some, it may have seemed impolite to brush off the weight of my confession, but I was thankful that they were dropping the subject. Honestly, I just wanted to forget about it and move on. “Have a good game. Kick the Devils’ asses.”

I turned to leave, but Gronk called out at me again, “Wait, are you really taking those with you?”

“Sure, why not?” I replied over my shoulder as I headed for the door again. “I’ll keep them with my whips and chains, for when your mom’s back in town.”

I swear I could hear crickets chirping in the background; the locker room was eerily quiet. Silently, I cursed myself for saying that—it was too much. I took the joking too far. I exhaled slowly, trying to formulate an apology in my head, when the room erupted into raucous laughter.

“Oh my God, he cracked a joke! I don’t believe it!” TK laughed, his face turning red from lack of oxygen.

“And it was funny, too! Holy shit, what’s this world coming to?” Dupuis teased.

I rolled my eyes once again, but I couldn’t stop myself from smirking. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a sense of humor, as the guys often mused, but it was that I didn’t always participate in the locker room antics. In fact, that usually made me the butt of their wise cracks and jokes.

“Whoa, did I miss something?” Talbo asked as he stepped into the dressing room, observing how the entire room was filled with laughter as the guys continued to gear up and get ready for the game.

“Nothing,” I told him. Then I asked, “Sitting up in the press box tonight?”

“Uh, yeah,” he answered, turning with me and leaving the room as quickly as he had entered. “I hate being out of the loop. Being injured sucks balls.”

“Tell me about it,” I sighed, falling into step beside him as he headed up to the box. The game wouldn’t start for a while, but it would be better to pass the time before puck drop up there instead of in the dressing room or lounge.

“Hey, this is only the second or third game you’re missing. I’ve been out all season,” he complained. “I can’t wait to get cleared for contact.” He groaned, shook his head, and then changed the subject. “How’s your shoulder doing? And how’s your girlfriend doing? She looked pretty rough last night.”

I scowled but avoided this topic again. Part of me didn’t want him to think, like everyone else had thought, that she was wasted last night, but the other part of me also didn’t want to explain again what really happened. The more I said she was drugged, the more I hated it. “She’s fine. Relaxing at home.”

He nodded. “I guess it’s too soon to invite her to come out with us after the game? I like this chick, man. She’s good for you.”

My eyes were getting a work out from how often I was rolling them. “Um, thanks, I guess,” I mumbled, trying to figure out what he meant by that but not wanting to ask for clarification.

“Seriously. The less time you spend in your head, the better. Plus, she’s gotta be fun between the sheets, am I right? Some girls, you can just tell. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“I don’t think I want to tell you that.”

“Come on, man! It’s not like I’d ever tap that—I mean, I wouldn’t do that to ya. Bros before hos. It’s pretty obvious how much you like her. So you can tell me. I bet she doesn’t say ‘no’ to anything. Think of all the fun you could have.” I cast a small glance over to him as he said that, but didn’t respond. “Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it! Mon Dieu, mon ami, you’re such a virgin!”

“I’m not a virgin,” I muttered, keeping my voice low—much lower than his, at least.

“You act like it. You’re going to have to step up your game. Gotta keep things exciting if you want to keep her around. For some ladies, missionary doesn’t always cut it.”

I blushed, feeling my cheeks flame and burn. I couldn’t believe he was talking so openly about this in the middle of the hallway as we made our way to the press box. Walking past complete strangers. Talking about sex. “Just so you know, not that it’s any of your business by the way, but she just so happens to like how we do it. She said so.”

“If she has to tell you, Tanger, then maybe you need to rethink that notion. Because let me tell you something that I’ve learned through lots of experience—if she really enjoys it, she will not need to tell you.... You will know.”

“Okay, that’s enough,” I said gruffly, trying to put that assertion out of my mind. Stupid French-Canadians and their stupid advice, which I didn’t need.

But that didn’t stop Max. Of course it didn’t; he went on and on about the things he’d done, the things he wanted to do, and some suggestions for me as well. “Don’t be afraid to get a little rough. You’d be surprised, mon ami. Even the good girls like a little spanking now and again. Talking dirty—oh, they love that. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask her what she wants. Every girl has some fantasy. This one girl, damn, had me dress up like a firefighter. She had me douse her flame, if you catch my drift. Man, if I couldn’t play hockey, I’d be a firefighter. They gotta get so much pussy....”

I eventually stopped listening to him altogether as he continued to ramble. He had given me a lot to think about it, even if he didn’t mean to.

The game had sucked. Half the team was up in the box with Talbot and me: Kennedy, Orpik, Gonchar, and Malkin. Okay, so maybe not half, but that’s certainly the way it felt. We lost the game, and I felt helpless as a spectator in the stands as my team lost. I played the what if game again, wondering if, had I been playing, the game would have gone a little differently. Blocked a shot that swung momentum in our favor. Make a laser-sharp pass as I head-manned the puck. Something. Anything.

There was one positive aspect, I found, in sitting out the game: leaving on time. No post-game interviews or meetings, no having to shower and change afterward, and no autograph-seekers or puck bunnies waiting outside to avoid. I left the press box and headed straight for the parking lot.

A thought dawned on me as I walked toward my vehicle; I wondered if Jo was here, or if she were supposed to work. But then I realized that I wouldn’t be able to tell. She wouldn’t have ridden her motorcycle, and I wasn’t sure how else she would have gotten here. Jo hadn’t said anything about having to work, but she often did after games. Or maybe she called off because she still wasn’t feeling well.

I decided to drive by her place, to see if she were home and how she was feeling. It probably would have been best to simply call and ask her, or at least call first before spontaneously popping over, but... I knew that I wanted to see her again, so I just decided to act on my impulse and go to her. On the way, I stopped at a 24-hour Giant Eagle and picked up a dozen roses—because, well, why the hell not?

When I pulled up in front of her house, for the second time that day, I was relieved to see the light on through the front window. It meant she was still awake. After sleeping so late in the day, I figured she’d still be up. Unless she was still feeling ill, of course. I parked and picked up the flowers, trotting quickly up the walkway to the porch and knocking loudly. As the door opened slightly, I extended my arm and held out the flowers, only to be met with a less than welcoming reception.

10 comments:

  1. Noooo Tubby, no.
    Don't be a douchebag to Kris!! : (

    Or maybe I should say.
    Noooo Jay, Noooo.
    For this cliff hanger!!!

    I can't wait for the next update now!!!!
    Great update!

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  2. Oh, Kris. Now and forever the over-analyst.

    I'm not jaded, by any means, but if only more guys were as thoughtful, caring, and respectful as the ones we write about...

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  3. So, L.M.F.A.O. the whole beginning of the chapter. I completely love those boys beyond...well...anything! They're friggin hysterical!

    “Sure, why not?” I replied over my shoulder as I headed for the door again. “I’ll keep them with my whips and chains, for when your mom’s back in town.”
    ^^LMFAO Kris cracking a joke<3 Night = made.

    Ughh I really hope Tubby doesn't flip a shit on Kris =/ I'm excited/nervous for the next chapter!

    P.S. Kris buying roses = swoon worthy!

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  4. Loved this update. Loved it. Kris Letang locked up via red handcuffs sounds like the perfect Valentine's gift! haha. I am so anxious to see what happppens! Tubby I love you, be nice!!

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  5. bahahahahaha. Oh lord. I couldn't not stop feeling embarrassed FOR Kris this entire chapter. He's so cute that I can't stand it sometimes. I wanted to crusade into the locker room for him and get everyone to stop talking about him and Jo's sex life.


    I really, really hope that Tubby doesn't flip a shit on Kris- poor guy doesn't deserve it.

    Loved your update m'dear!

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  6. o tubby please dont.....


    great update

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  7. I'm so proud of Kris for handling the guys teasing so well. Loved:
    “Oh my God, he cracked a joke! I don’t believe it!” TK laughed, his face turning red from lack of oxygen.

    “And it was funny, too! Holy shit, what’s this world coming to?” Dupuis teased.
    Dupuis seemed to know a bit about sex handcuffs! (Good for him)

    I loved how Max kept talking about sex long after Kris quit listening, do you think he noticed or cared that no one paying attention?

    You just knew Tubby was going to let Kris know that he thought he failed as a boyfriend. Hopefully he has had time to calm down a little.

    As always loved it all, great update can't wait for more.

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  8. Ok I wanna comment a lot on how awesome this one was, but I really, really wanna go read the next one! (I'm so behind!!)

    So let me just tell you the things that stuck out the most...

    First off, I would quote the whole locker-room thing but... that might be a little much, either way, it was hilarious and I loved it!

    “Seriously. The less time you spend in your head, the better. Plus, she’s gotta be fun between the sheets, am I right? Some girls, you can just tell. I’m right, aren’t I?”
    “I don’t think I want to tell you that.”
    ^^ BAHAHAHAHA I love Max's whole little rant and I can totally just hear Kris replying with that answer... that was just too funny.

    "Stupid French-Canadians and their stupid advice, which I didn’t need."
    ^^ Yah, those French-Canadians are always throwing out their advice when you don't want it... unfortunately (or fortunately), when it comes to the guys and sex, they're usually right.
    Listen up Tanger!

    Max Talbot the Fire Fighter... now, there's an imagine that will hopefully stay in my head until bedtime... of course, then it might turn into Jared Staal the fire fighter but, that's a whole other issue... lol

    Anyway... FANTASTIC... now, on to Tubby and Kris!!! dun dun dun

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  9. Tubby, you big beautiful man...admirable job you are doing protecting your friend, and it could very interesting next chapter!

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