Tuesday, February 16, 2010

41.) Good Use

Jo was quiet, all through the rest of the movie. It was one I had seen before, so I didn’t really watch it; I watched her. Her eyes were on the screen, but I felt like she wasn’t really paying attention to it. I rubbed her back and tried to get her to relax, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t.

When the movie ended, the awkwardness set back in. Neither Tubby nor I wanted to say anything, for fear of upsetting her again.

Because that wasn’t our intention. We didn’t want to work her up. Despite our differing opinions, I couldn’t deny that Tubby loved her and would do anything for her. Really, I felt bad for him. He’d sacrificed a lot, basically giving up a year of his life, to make sure that Jo was okay. He put his life on hold, remaining stagnant in his ambition, for his friend for as long as she needed him. And now, Jo was finally ready to take a step forward, so that Tubby could move on, too; but I wasn’t sure that he knew what to do with the prospect of change.

“Unless you need me for something, I think I’m gonna go,” he yawned, placing the back of his hand over his mouth. I could see through him; it was a fake yawn. “I’m exhausted.”

“I’ll walk you out,” Jo said tiredly. She led the way to the door, and Tubby followed behind her. I looked up at him, and he nodded at me without a word. I did the same.

Reflecting on our... discussion... earlier, he had a point, I guess. I had only known Jo since the beginning of the season, and Tubby had known her practically his whole life. He should have been the one to be there to cushion her fall and pick her up when she was down, but he wasn’t. Well, he was there to ease her pain, or watch over her as the alcohol numbed her, but he was unable to pull her out of her funk. Instead, it was me—and I was glad it was me. This is what I had wanted to do.

It had started out as a mission, perhaps misguided and misdirected, but I had seen something in Jo... recognized something in her... and I wanted to help when I hadn’t even known what the problem was. When I yelled at Tubby, I had lashed out because he hadn’t done the things that I would have done for her. If maybe he had, Jo wouldn’t need me. Her life would have been different; she would have continued on the path of her dreams, and we never would have met.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about that alternative possibility. If Jo had followed her dreams and gone to Carnegie Mellon University, she wouldn’t have been working at the arena. If she weren’t working at the Mellon, and she never would have walked past me the night of the season opener. If she weren’t working at the Mellon, she wouldn’t have come into the locker room two weeks later and invited us out to her house.

This was just one of those examples that demonstrated how a chain of events can be affected in the world, with you completely unaware of it, but it’s bound to influence your life somehow. When James died, I had no idea. December 15, 2007, didn’t feel any different to me. It felt like any other day. But it had devastated Jo and sent her on a road that led her to me.

Tubby probably didn’t mean the things he hollered at me, about doing something that would have changed the outcome of the night. Like I should have been an omniscient, omnipotent influence. He couldn’t possibly know how I felt after Luc died. In reality, my brain knows that I couldn’t have done anything. Luc had been a victim of circumstance, in the worst possible way, and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. My heart and my soul, however, feel differently. They still wonder, and probably always will... what if?

Yeah, I’d already thought about that. What if I had said “yes” when she asked me to dance? What if I hadn’t let her go out and dance with the girls by herself? What if I had just made her sit there beside me and sober up a bit before letting her do anything else? But I didn’t try to dwell on that. Without fully preventing her drink from getting spiked, this was the best possible outcome for her. Safe, with me. I felt bad for getting as angry as I did during that night, especially when I thought that it was all her own fault, and I wished—and still wish—that something, anything, could have gone differently last night so this never would have happened.

But hoping and wishing is no good at this point, because no amount of it will ever change the past. If it did, then Luc would still be alive.

Jo shuffled back in the room languidly, like a zombie. She picked up the bag of microwaved popcorn and the can of Mountain Dew from the coffee table. “You gonna eat any more of this?” she asked, holding the bag out in my direction but not really looking me in the eye.

“No, I’m good,” I told her, and then I watched her shuffle out of the living room and head for the kitchen. I followed her.

She tossed the bag in the trash can and began to pour the soda down the drain of the sink. Her back was to me, but she knew I was there. She said, “I’m sorry about the way Tubby kind of attacked you, as soon as you got here.”

I shrugged, although she couldn’t see it. “It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not,” Jo sighed, glancing back at me quickly. “Tubby’s such a good guy. I don’t know what got into him. And he just wouldn’t listen.”

“He has a point, though. He’s been there for you through so much, and I think that he feels like he should be the one that helps you reach this point. In his eyes, who am I? He doesn’t know me. I’m just a stranger to him. So, to him, who should be the one to be encouraging and supportive? Not me.”

“Don’t you dare take his side. Fucking shit,” she mumbled, setting the can on the counter but still facing the sink. “Jesus Christ. He’s my best friend, but I can still tell him when he’s wrong.”

“I’m not taking his side, I’m just saying that I see where he’s coming from.”

“Don’t. Just don’t, okay?”

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t do that. Because I don’t appreciate the things he said, or the things you said, either.” She shook her head, trying to curb her emotions.

“Is that what this is about?” I asked. “Are you still mad at me because I yelled at Tubby?”

“No,” Jo quietly replied, her shoulders slumping forward. I stepped behind her and placed my hands on either side of her neck, rubbing and gently squeezing her tense muscles. “I’m just....”

Her voice faded out, and I tried to find the words for her. “Angry? Sleepy? Sad?”

Jo leaned her head back, but she didn’t fully relax, either. “I don’t know, Kris. I don’t know how I’m feeling. I’ve only been awake since—what?—three? Four? And this has been the longest day of my life. Between yesterday... and today... taking my placement exams... going out last night and worrying about getting along with your friends... then what happened at the bar, not feeling well, Kelsey and Heather coming over, talking with you about it... and then coming home and dealing with Tubby getting all pissed and blowing shit out of proportion, you and him fighting over it and the way you were talking about me... I just....”

I spun her around and had her face me. Cupping my hand under her chin, I made her look me in the eye. “It’s been a crazy couple of days, huh?”

“Ugh, the craziest,” she admitted. “I wish I could just go to bed, and pull the covers over my head, and sleep and sleep and sleep, and then hope that when I finally wake up, everything won’t suck as bad.”

Wrapping my arms around her, I pulled her fully against me in an attempt to be reassuring, because I didn’t know what else to do. She was going through a lot recently, and I understood where Tubby was coming from when he tried to watch over her instead of intervene. She just wanted to forget, and put the past behind her. I cared about her enough to wish that for her, too, if it gave her a moment of peace. I didn’t want to press the issue and force her to face the stress now; it could wait ’til morning. “Then, I say, let’s go to bed and get some shut-eye.”

She fidgeted against me, like she was uncomfortable. I released my grip, and she pulled back just enough to reach into my pocket. For the first time since I had arrived, she smiled. Jo pulled out the fuzzy, red handcuffs and raised an eyebrow. “Kristopher Letang... what in the world?”

“I really don’t want to explain to you why I have these,” I laughed, feeling my cheeks begin to burn. “Let’s just say it was a joke gone bad.”

“Gone bad? Nothing involving furry handcuffs can ever be bad.” She held them out on her index finger and cocked her head to the side. “Did you bring these over on purpose, like the flowers?”

“Uh, well, honestly, I kinda forgot they were in my pocket,” I told her.

“Oh.” That answer didn’t deter her, though. “Well. You brought them. And you’re here... and I’m here, so....” The coy grin on her face and sparkle in her eyes made me laugh. “What do you say we put them to good use?”

I teased, “I vaguely remember you saying something about going up to bed and sleeping.” I watched her face, waiting to see her reaction. She was stressed and upset, and I wasn’t sure that using sex as a distraction was necessarily a good idea. Sure, it would physically let out some frustrations, but it wasn’t a solution.

“Suddenly, I’m not feeling quite so tired. Come on, Kris. You know you want to. I know I want to.” Jo moved closer again, the length of her body pressing against me. She turned her face upward, her breath hitting against my jaw. I closed my eyes as she continued, “Remember the last time?”

I swallowed, the memories of that day flooding back. It was intense, and amazing, and different but in a very good kind of way, and well, intense. “Yeah.”

Her fingertips brushed against my side, her touch electric against my skin, even through my dress shirt. “You liked it, didn’t you?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Do you want to do it again?” Jo kissed my neck, her lips so soft. I felt my cock jerk to life in my pants, and I know she felt it, too, because she chuckled. Her breasts rubbed against my chest as she laughed. “Is that a ‘yes’?”

“That’s a ‘no,’” I told her. Everything that Talbot had said to me earlier in the night—all that advice—came back to me. If she wanted to forget about her troubles for the night, I could help with that. I took the handcuffs off her and tried to be serious, but I failed miserably. This felt like a joke and I felt like a fraud, but I was doing it for Jo. “Because, I think, maybe, tonight... it’s your turn.”

She bit her lip and looked at me slyly, like she didn’t believe me. I took it as a challenge. With a smirk on my face, I chased her up the stairs. Jo giggled as she headed for her bedroom, and she shrieked when I would reach out to grab her and my fingers would grab at her clothes. I let her think that she was outside of my grasp, because I was holding back and not running at full speed. Following her down the hallway to her back bedroom, I caught up with her and playfully tackled her down onto the bed.

Jo squirmed, stuck lying on her stomach with me draped across her back. I made sure that my full weight wasn’t crushing her as I moved her arms to the headboard of her bed, placing the left cuff around her wrist, wrapping the chain around a bar of the headboard, and then cuffing her right wrist as well. It didn’t matter to me that now her shirt was stuck on her torso.

I brushed the hair back away from her neck and then kissed her nape. She moaned quietly and turned her head to the side to watch me as I hooked my fingers underneath the waistband of her sweatpants—my sweatpants—and yanked them down over her hips and ass.

There was a spark of lust which darkened her hazel eyes as I traced my hands back up her legs. After a moment, she closed her eyes and spread her legs a little farther apart as she buried her face in her pillow and muffled her encouraging sounds.


  1. Oh I love Kris <3
    love love love.

    And let's hope she doesn't get drunk or drugged again and let things slip about Kris tying her up.
    Because the poor boy will never hear the end of it!

  2. I hope Kris has the key for those, or else things are just going to get even more embarrasing for him and Jo... XD

  3. Oh. Shit. Good point about the keys. :) I can't imagine how that phone call would sound...

    Kris always gets the short end of the stick.

    I'm not biased, either. Honestly.

  4. After all that trauma, nice to see the red handcuffs make an appearance, lol!

    Fabulous, as always!

  5. haahahh the red handcuffs are back!

  6. Nothing involving furry handcuffs can ever be bad. Yeah this is something that I will definitly agree with. lol Especially if it involves a man as hot as Kris Letang.

  7. Great update. Taking Talbot's advice! ah-ha! I loved that. Also agreeing with the rest of the comments, furry handcuffs and Kris Letang - sign me up! haha.

    Love it, can't wait to see what's going to come from this.

  8. Furry red handcuffs + Kris Letang = Every girl's dream come true ;P

    I loved this update, Jay! It was nice to see that Kris understood where Tubby was coming from even tough he didn't necessarily agree with it. *Sigh* I hope they can all learn something from this! (Wow, I sound incredibly sappy and life lesson-y. Forgive me hahaha)

  9. When James died, I had no idea. December 15, 2007, didn’t feel any different to me. It felt like any other day. But it had devastated Jo and sent her on a road that led her to me.

    I had to read this line a dozen times before I could go on with the story. It made me cry instantly. I understand this concept in my head but this just pulled my head and heart to the same place. One of the things I love about your writing. Often little lines just knock me out.

    Now on to the hot stuff! TK threw the keys to Kris in the locker room and he put them in his pocket. Plus according to Dupuis sex handcuff have a built in safety release. So hopefully they won't have to call for help.

    Kris + furry red handcuffs + Max's sex advice= a lucky, LUCKY Jo.