Saturday, May 15, 2010

87.) Shot

I want to say a quick thanks to my followers. It was a surprise to hit this number, because I've never had this many on a work-in-progress, and it really makes me feel like all the work, time, and effort actually means something and that you guys appreciate it. So thanks a billion times over. Love you guys!

Soundtrack Song - The Classic Crime, Everything

I wasn’t sure what time it was, but I was sure that it didn’t matter. It could have been midnight, or two, or four; I didn’t care. I was awake, and so was little Kris.

Jo was lying on her side, with the sheet tucked under her arm to keep it in place and the heavy blanket draped over her entire body. The air conditioning was turned up pretty high, because it had been a warm day and I needed coolness to sleep—Jo liked it cold, too, so she could burrow under the blankets to stay warm. I was on my side and curled up behind her to share my heat, which meant I was in the perfect position to gently pull the comforter away. Then I brushed her tangled, knotted hair away from her neck, exposing her body to my touch.

This was the first night since I had been traded to San José that I got to spend laying my bed with my girl. It was an odd experience, because it felt like I was back in Pittsburgh and in bed with her back at our apartment, until I rolled around and felt the roughness of the sheets or the lumps in the mattress or looked around and saw how the walls were different and then finally remembered that I was still in California. I don’t think it really hit me that she was here yet; it still felt like a dream.

The room was dark; the thick, heavy curtains draped over the windows blocked out most of the light from the street or parking lot. The illuminated numbers on the alarm clock cast a red hue toward the bed, just enough to allow me to make out the outline of her curves and slopes. It was a good thing that I didn’t need light to see what I was doing. I knew the shape of her body better than I knew my own.

She was breathing evenly and soundly, and I could feel the way her torso inflated and deflated with each soft snore. I probably should have been worried about getting enough sleep so I could be rested for tomorrow’s game—or was it today’s game? But I was too content to sleep. Maybe that doesn’t make sense; someone who’s completely satisfied should be able to sleep. But not me; I was enjoying this moment too much to want to sleep through it. I wanted to be awake to enjoy it.

My fingers walked lightly across the skin that stretched across her arm, up over the curve of her shoulder, and then formed her neck. I kissed those parts of her body, tasting the subtle saltiness of her flesh. She was delicious. Biting the back of her neck, I reached around to her front and felt her up over the sheet. Then I rolled her nipple between my forefinger and thumb, feeling the way her body reacted. My touch hardened the little nub between my fingers, and her ass pressed back against my growing hard on.

Her soft voice was music to my ears. I wasn’t sure if she were sleeping or awake when she moaned my name. “Kris.”

“Jo,” I whispered back, rubbing my erection against her body. It had been a long, lonely span of eleven days without her, and last night had not been enough to quell my desires.

She rolled toward me, nudging me away with her shoulder so she could lie on her back. Her eyes were still shut, so I wasn’t sure if she was conscious or not. But when her hand reached and closed around my dick, I knew she was as up as I was. “Again already?”

“What do you mean ‘already’?” I chuckled. Jo had been the one who was so desperate for sex when we finally got back. I mean, I wanted it, too—but I had wanted more a heated quickie to douse my fire, and I would have made myself go slow to give that to Jo. My inner animal took over, though, and now I had the opportunity to do this right. “Didn’t I tell you how much I missed you?”

“Missing me and being horny are two different things,” she mumbled sleepily. For a second, she released her grip on me, but then she licked her hand and once again wrapped her fingers around my dick. Her hand slid up and down easily, and I wanted to be inside her again. Already.

I forced myself to maintain control as I pulled the sheet down to reveal more of her body. My fingers roamed the paths they had traversed so many times before; they knew the way and could do this on autopilot. I cupped her breasts and pushed them together so I could take both her nipples in my mouth at once. Jo moaned, and—as if I needed any other indication to know how much she liked this—her grip tightened and her pace quickened. She made sounds that I recognized: sounds that were so predictable and let me know how I was doing. A heavy moan meant she wanted more; a sudden gasp meant I caught her off guard; a satisfied sigh meant just right; and a whimpering mew meant I had complete control over her body, that she was putty in my hands.

My hand slid down her stomach and past her navel, and I cupped the vee between her legs impatiently to see if she were ready for me. Jo made a loud sound as she sucked in a deep breath—a sound that I knew wasn’t good. I immediately let go and backed off. “What’s wrong? What did I do?”

“Nothing,” she grunted through her teeth. “I’m just a little sore.”

“I’m sorry,” I apologized, full of concern. Oh God, I’d never meant to hurt her. She told have told me to stop or slow down or something to let me know I was being too rough. I don’t know why she didn’t.

“For what?” she asked, finding my face with her hands in the dark and cupping it, like she could see exactly where I was in the pitch-black room. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought she was consoling me.

“For touching you and hurting you. For hurting you in the first place.”

Jo giggled. “Don’t be sorry for those things. I’m not. I wanted that, remember? I wanted hard and fast.” I nodded, and she felt the gesture with her palms against my cheeks. She pushed up from her supine position and rolled over on top of me so now I was the one lying down. Straddling my hips, she leaned over and placed her mouth by my ear. Her breath was hot and humid as it hit my skin when she whispered, “Just be gentle with me this time.”

She reached toward the table beside the bed, and I knew she wanted to grab a condom. The room was too dark, though, and she couldn’t see. So I turned on the lamp and retrieved one for her. “Here.”

“Turn off the damn light,” she grumbled, squeezing her eyes shut as her pupils reacted to the sudden brightness.

“No,” I argued, admiring her in the light. Her hair was a mess, piled on top of her head sloppily, and her cheek bore the impression of her pillow. But that only turned me on more, because it all meant that I got to wake her up to make love in the middle of the night, just like this. I ran my hands all over her body and watched as I touched her. “I wanna be able to see.”

“Sleepy sex is best in the dark,” she countered, handing back the wrapper to let me do it. Jo refused to open her eyes to the light.

“Then I don’t want sleepy sex.” I ripped open the foil and removed the condom, rolling it on quickly. I wanted to pull her down on top of me, but I was cautious and didn’t want to touch her and cause her any more pain. “You’d better do this, Jo, because I don’t wanna hurt you again.”

She smiled, never opening her eyes. With her left palm pressed against my chest to help her keep her balance, Jo used her right hand to carefully and oh so slowly lower herself onto me, until I was totally engulfed in her slick heat. Her teeth bit into her bottom lip, obviously feeling some amount of pain but trying to soldier through it.

I put my hands on her hips, holding onto her. I felt so bad; I woke her up because I wanted to have sex, and she didn’t seem up to it. “We don’t have to do this—”

“No, ’s okay,” she said in a quiet combination of discomfort and fatigue, leaning over me and grinding her pelvis against mine. Her hands were on my shoulders, clutching and holding on. Her eyebrows furrowed, wrinkling her forehead. “Feels good.”

The purpose of making love is to give the other person more pleasure than you yourself want to receive. I had used Jo last night like an animal when we had what she called “monkey sex” so I could get off, and now it was my turn to repay the favor. Placing my thumb against her clit, I applied pressure and rubbed all around. “And how does that feel?”

Really good,” she groaned, letting me take over. I bent my legs at the knees to get some leverage, and then I lifted my hips and gently slid in and out of her. My slow, shallow movements were answered at first by moans and then appreciative little cries. I kept bringing my hips up and massaging her with my thumb, knowing without her having to tell me that she was a few moments away from reaching the end.

As she tensed, her nails dug into my skin—and when she came and her body was wracked with shudders, her hands scratched down my chest and left behind streaks of red welts. Something between the burning sensation of getting clawed up and knowing that I had the power over Jo to make her react that way pushed me over the edge, and I felt my balls twitch as I got my own release.

Jo’s heavy panting never slowed, which I knew was because she was tired. I rolled her off me so I could dispose of the used condom and turn off the light. Then I snuggled back up against Jo, covering her up with the sheet because I knew she had to sleep in the blankets. I kissed the top of her head as she burrowed into me.

“I love you,” she mumbled against my bare chest.

“Yeah. I love you, too.”

“This is gonna be an exhausting week.”

“Why’s that?”

She laughed tiredly. “Because we have to cram three weeks’ worth of sex into one. We’re not gonna get much sleep at this rate.”

I wrapped my arms around her, pulling her with me as I reclined on my back. Jo threw her leg over my body as she rested her head against my chest, using me as her pillow. I have to admit, she had a point. I didn’t need any reminders to know how much this week meant to us. We had to make up for the past eleven days and simultaneously have enough fun to last us during our next, impending separation.

That was a lot of pressure to put on this week to come. It would be hard to relax and have fun and enjoy this week like we should if we felt pressured and compelled to do so. I wanted to tell Jo all this, but before I could, I noticed that she was already asleep again.

By seven in the morning, Jo was wide awake. And cranky and pissed off that she was so alert so early in the day. “I’m on my spring break! I shouldn’t even be conscious when the clock reads in the single digits in the morning!”

“But it’s ten back in Pittsburgh. So, technically, kind of, you did sleep in to double digits,” I said, curling up around her soft body. I was in the mood for some morning sex, but I didn’t attempt it. First of all, I knew Jo would still be sore—probably even moreso now—and she needed the break to rest up and recuperate. And second, it was a game day. I needed my energy for the three periods of hockey tonight—especially since I was going to be playing in front of my girl.

“I’m not gonna be able to fall back asleep,” she whined, reaching up to twirl some of my hair around her finger. But then she relaxed and said, “Which I guess is okay, because I’m just gonna lie here with you while you sleep.”

It was eight thirty when I woke back up, which was my usual time to get up. I had to be at the Tank by nine for the morning skate, which started at ten. Half an hour was just the right amount of time to get dressed, eat a banana and a granola bar, brush my teeth, and walk the few blocks to the arena. Jo, true to her earlier statement, was still wide awake.

“Hey, babe?” she asked, watching me slide out from under the sheet and search for a clean pair of boxers.

I hadn’t done laundry since coming out to San José, and I really needed to. In fact, I should have unpacked my clothes into the dresser, but I still had everything pretty much in my bags. Unpacking would have meant accepting that this was my new home, and I didn’t think I was ready for that yet. “Yeah?”

“Can I come to your morning skate?”

I found a blue pair and stepped into them, and then began the hunt of pants and a shirt. It dawned on me that I should probably have gotten a shower, between the way I still smelled like chlorine and then the film of sweat clinging to my skin after having sex, but I’d need to shower after the skate and then after the game, and it didn’t make sense to have to do it three times in one day. “Well, sure, if you want to. Morning skates are pretty much open to people with media passes or permission, or if you didn’t want to watch, you could hang out in the lounge. But, you never come to the morning sessions.”

“Yeah, I know. I never had a reason to before. But now I do, because I wanna spend as much time with you as I possibly can. Even if that just means watching you practice.”

There was something sad and equally romantic about that. It made sense to me though, just like how I loved being around Jo right now. When we were apart, we had the phone to connect our minds and souls because we could talk to each other and share our days and laugh and proclaim our love for one another. But what we had missed out on was being physically together, and not just sex. Each other’s presence. So even if she couldn’t be beside me when I was on the ice, she at least wanted to be in the same building as me to see me.

“All right, well, hurry up and get ready, then. You can’t make me late for practice, or else I’ll get scratched!”

“But I have to shower!” she shrieked, frantically throwing off the covers and hanging her legs over the bed before she ran into the bathroom and jumped—literally—into the shower. One of the things I loved so much about Jo was her laidback, carefree spirit. She wouldn’t need an hour to get ready before she walked outside with me. It wasn’t for a lack of pride or that she didn’t care about how she looked. Jo simply didn’t place any emphasis on that kind of stuff.

It took her five minutes to shower, and then she merely toweled off and dressed in the first thing she pulled out of her backpack. She was in a pair of black capris and a small, white shirt with Carnegie Mellon University written across the front in black, capital letters. She stepped into a pair of green flip-flops as she brushed her wet hair back into a ponytail. And that was it; she was ready to leave. And in my opinion, she couldn’t have looked better.

Jo turned down my offer of breakfast, which I knew she’d regret—after all, her body was thinking it was close to noon. She’d be hungry soon, but there would be some offerings in the arena kitchen she could tide herself over with. We walked down the street, and I held her hand all the way. It was exciting for me to share this with her. So many times I had told her about doing this when she called and asked how my day was going, but now she was going to be able to experience it.

I didn’t have a lot of time to give her a tour, so we headed back toward the locker room. Everyone had already congregated at their stalls, and I made sure they were all decent before I could bring Jo into the room with me to introduce her to the guys who hadn’t yet met her. They probably wouldn’t’ve minded, and I know Jo wouldn’t’ve, but I preferred this meeting to be PG.

Some of the guys ribbed me for being late, because “being late” for me was not being fifteen minutes early. Pickles spoke up for me as he took off his watch. “Hey, take it easy on him. His girl’s in town, so he probably exhausted himself last night and slept in.”

“I brought her with me, if you guys don’t mind her coming in for a minute,” I said.

“You brought her with you?” Mitch asked, looking at me like I was a drooling idiot. “The one place you can go to get away, and you bring her with you?”

I shrugged; I didn’t see what the big deal was. “She wanted to come. And she’s only here for a week, so....”

“Aw, come on, man,” Boyle said, addressing Torrey. “You’ve never been in love before? So infatuated with someone that you couldn’t bear to be away from that special lady for a single minute?”

“No,” he snorted, shaking his head and toeing out of his shoes. And that was all he said. “Way too much bull shit to put up with. Right, Couture? He was just telling us about his chick.”

“Not my chick anymore,” he groaned. I couldn’t tell if he was bothered by that or not. “Letang was all lovey-dovey with his girl yesterday and made us all look like chumps. Thanks a lot, man. But actually, you did me a favor. I dropped her off at the airport, she exchanged her ticket for some red-eye flight or something. Now she can be someone else’s problem.”

I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to respond to that; I hadn’t done anything wrong. So I ignored it. “Anyway, do you guys mind if I bring her in?” I asked, and I received a bunch of apathetic nods and shrugs. So I took that to mean it was okay. It had to brief, since it was so close to nine and we needed to change. I introduced her to the room and showed her my stall.

Jo sat there and looked around, imagining what it was like for me to get ready. “So when I talk to you on the phone, and you say this is what you’re doing, I’ll know exactly what it’s like. Sup, Pickles?” she asked, kicking her legs as she sat there and looked at the guy sitting next to her. “Why do they call you ‘Pickles,’ anyway? That’s a weird nickname.”

He explained, “Uh, my last name. It’s Croatian, Vlašić, like the brand of pickles, with the stork mascot guy.”

“Oh. Makes sense, then. Not as interesting of a nickname once you explain it,” she remarked.

“Speaking of which,” Pickles replied, a sudden smirk on his face. “Letang here tells us that he goes by Tanger, but we still haven’t thought of a good nickname for him yet. Can you share anything with us to help us out?”

Jo smiled up at me as I pressed my hand against my brand new nameplate and leaned toward her. I could tell by the glint in her eyes that she was thinking of that one name I couldn’t stand most of all, the one that Dupuis referred to me by relentlessly: Piglet. I thought I had escaped it, but Jo obviously remembered it.

“Well, in Pittsburgh, I do recall him being called—”

“No, no, no,” I begged, shaking my head, wondering why the hell she’d do this to me.

“—Instant Tang by one of the guys,” she giggled as she sent me a wink to let me know that yes, she was aware how much I hated that name, and she wouldn’t spill it. “But I don’t know where that name came from, because Kris is anything but ‘instant.’”

The guys all groaned at her horrible joke and innuendo. They couldn’t care less about how long I could last between the sheets. I was relieved that my secret nickname was safe. Grabbing Jo’s sides and tickling her, I growled at her playfully, “All right, all right, now you gotta get outta here. Think you can find your way to the stands?”

“I’ll be okay. I’ll just follow the guys with press passes and see if I can sell any of your juicy secrets to them,” she laughed, winking again. I reached out to grab her again, but she squealed and squeaked out of my grasp as she ran for the door, calling out behind her, “See you afterwards, Instant Tang!”

“Wait, Jo!” Patrick called out, getting her attention before she could run out the doors. He held something out to her. “Some of us feel bad about what happened yesterday, and we wanted to make it up to you.”

“What is it?” she asked tentatively, almost afraid accept the small envelope. Marleau just nodded at her to take it, and slowly, she did. I watched as she carefully slid her finger under the flap and opened it, just as curious as she was to find out what was inside. She pulled something out and her mouth kind of fell open as her eyes enlarged to the size of saucers. “I can’t.... Too much....”

The guys all just started to laugh, shaking their heads as they took in her reaction and going back to whatever their routines were. “What is it?” I asked, crossing the distance toward her and looking down at the Victoria’s Secret gift card for five hundred bucks.

I stared up at Patrick, and he quickly answered the questions in my head. “Listen, it was Christina’s idea. We all pitched in for it, to make up for the whole freezer thing.”

Huskins spoke up and threw in his two cents. “They did the same thing for Lizzy, when they took her stuff and stapled it to the wall.” He pointed to a bare spot on the wall above his stall. “Let’s face it. These guys are assholes, but at least they find a way to try and make up for it.”

“This isn’t fair,” Jo sighed, but she put the card in her pocket. I didn’t think we should accept it from them, but she clearly didn’t have a problem with it. “You guys just bought yourself protection, because I was so going to get you back for that little stunt. And now I’d just feel bad.”

Pickles laughed. “Sounds fair enough to me. I’m sure if you ask Jamie tonight, when you see her at the game, that she’ll go with you. That way you’ll have something to do and someone to hang out with tomorrow.”

Jo’s face crinkled up with confusion, and I knew that she didn’t understand why she’d be alone tomorrow. We’d been so focused on finally being together that I’d forgotten to mention that Sunday’s game was away. In fact, I’d forgotten all about it myself. “Road game against the Ducks tomorrow night.”

“Oh,” she said quietly. I could see how upset she was, but she was trying to hide it. I cupped her elbow in my hand and pulled her out into the hallway, not caring at all that I was walking out of the dressing room when I should have been getting ready. Jo rambled as I led her out, “I didn’t even think to look at your schedule, I feel like such a fucking moron, but I didn’t even think that I’d be coming out here and not being able to spend the whole break with you. Shit, I mean, I just assumed I’d be coming out here to see you and that meant you’d be here.”

“I’m sorry, Jo, I didn’t even think about it either, or put two and two together—”

She shook her head as a stream of tears leaked out of the corner of her eye. “It’s not your fault. It’s your job, and I shouldn’t have been so retarded to not think that you wouldn’t be spending all eight days here. Like, I shouldn’t have expected a home stand that long, but it never even occurred to me. I thought that I’d come out here and it would just be you and me and yeah, you’d have to play a game here and there but none of that would really interfere with us being together. And I don’t know why I didn’t think of it because I should have known better, and now I feel so fucking dumb being upset about it and I’m embarrassed that I’m acting this way, like a little bitch.”

“It’s okay. You’re not a little bitch,” I chuckled, brushing away the tear and holding her face. “I was kinda in the same boat as you. I was just so happy that you were here that I forgot about having to leave you. And believe me, Jo, I don’t want to.”

“So, what does your schedule look like? How much time do I actually get to have with you this week?”

“Uh,” I paused, thinking. “Tomorrow’s away, Tuesday home, Thursday away, and then home next Friday and Sunday. So, not as bad as it could be, right?”

Jo nodded and mumbled, “Six days instead of eight. I guess it could be worse. I was just expecting this perfect week. And yesterday was so much fun....” She paused and sighed before she hit me with a bombshell. “What happens at the end of the week, Kris?”

“No.” I shook my head. “We’re not doing this now. It’s going to be hard enough to take you to the airport and see you off, and go through that all over again.... You’re here, and we’re going to enjoy this week while we can. End of story.”

“No, not ‘end of story.’ I can’t pretend like I’m not going home next weekend and leaving without you. And then what? Play this waiting game to see if my semester ends before your season is over? That’s six or seven weeks. Two was hard enough—”

“Do you want to waste our week together by being upset over the fact that you have to leave next weekend?”

“No,” she sighed.

“Me neither. Now I have waited two weeks for you to come out and visit me, and I’m going to enjoy every second I have with you. I know you have to leave, and I know it’s going to suck, but the way I see it is... that’s the way it’s gotta be. We don’t have a choice. So we just have to suck it up and get through it. At least we know when we’ll get to see each other again, the beginning of May at the latest, if my season is still going.”

Jo nodded, and I waited anxiously to hear what she had to say. I wished that these weren’t our circumstances, but they were. It was this, or break up—and that was entirely out of the question. I needed Jo too much for that. “Besides,” I added, “where’s the girl who likes to live in the moment? Live every moment like it’s her last?”

“That girl would have dropped out of school to follow her boyfriend to California,” she sighed, giving me a small smile.

“Well, I’m not letting you do that. Your dreams are just as important to me as mine are.”

She nodded again, my words putting a bigger grin on her face. “If this is the way things have got to be, Kristopher, you’d better not have a ‘no sex during the playoffs’ policy.”

It was my turn to grin, and I pulled her toward me and hugged her. “If it makes you happy, Joey, then I’ll gladly make the exception.”

Once I knew she was going to be okay, I pointed her in the right direction so she could take a seat in the stands to watch, and then I hurried to begin getting ready for the morning skate. Even though our most recent conversation had a depressing undertone to it, I had a spring in my step—or more like rockets in my skates. I was flying across the ice as we did our drills.

Just as we were ending practice, McLellan called out a few guys’ names to stay out on the ice. My name was one of them. At first, I was a little worried. But then I realized that I was out here with the PP and PK guys. This was it; I was gonna get my shot on the power play tonight. We worked for about fifteen minutes against the top penalty killing unit, and then we were let go.

Coach kept me out there a little longer, just talking to me. Telling me that I’ve put in my time, I learned the system, and I was really showing my stuff out there in practice. So even though I hadn’t scored even strength, I was being given the opportunity to showcase my offensive skills. I was excited for this, and I knew what was at stake. This was why I had been brought here.

Jo was waiting for me in the runway. I didn’t need to say anything to her, because she, too, recognized the significance of what just happened. I expected the dressing room to be empty by now, so I shucked off my glove and grabbed her hand. Our earlier talk was the furthest thing from our minds at this point. I was excited, and Jo was excited for me.

We weren’t the only ones left, though. I could tell Blake thought he was alone as he spoke tensely on the phone. “Br-Brandy, what do you want me to do? If she won’t come out, she won’t come out.... You don’t think she’d actually do that, do you? I don’t think.... I have a game tonight, so I don’t have time to.... Yes, I know this is a big deal, and it’s important, but I don’t.... Okay, okay, fine. I’m on my way. Love you, too. Bye.”

He shook his head as he ended his call, but I had heard enough in my time here to know what Blake had been talking about, and it was best to pretend that I hadn’t heard anything. Some things were private, and all the guys on the team understood that and left him alone when he had conversations like that. I sat in my stall and started to take off my gear, pretending like I never heard a word.

But Jo didn’t. “Everything okay?”

It was the first time I had heard someone bring up the subject to him, and I wasn’t sure how he would react. To my surprise, he opened up. “No. My niece apparently locked herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. They’ve been screaming at each other all morning, and Brandy’s upset and worried about her, and she thinks I’ll be able to do something, but I don’t know what I can do about it.”

“I’m sure she just needs some to calm down,” Jo said.

“She’s a teenage girl,” Blake sighed. “She doesn’t know how to calm down. Everything’s an issue, everything is life-or-death. She’s just unreasonable. That’s why her mother sent her down with us in the first place, because she couldn’t handle her. It’s not the first time this is happened, and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t matter what we do to get through to her. She always just flips out and locks herself in that damn bathroom. I’m gonna have to take the lock out.”

I could feel Jo tense beside me. “Maybe she doesn’t need you to do something. Sounds like she needs someone to listen to her.”

“Everyone in a five-mile radius listens to her, because she’s constantly screaming.”

“But does anyone really hear what she’s saying? She’s obviously upset about something.” Jo moved right beside me and placed her hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “Sometimes, a girl just needs someone who’s willing to hear her out without trying to fix anything and undermine her.” She looked down at me and smiled, clearly identifying with Samantha and using her own experience to offer some advice to Blake. “It can make a world of difference.”

“You think so?”

“I know so,” she smiled, rubbing my shoulder.

“Jo,” he said slowly. I could tell by the tone of the voice already what he was going to end up asking her. “How old are you?”

She looked around, appearing unsure about this line of questioning. She obviously couldn’t tell what was going to happen. “Uh, twenty.”

“My niece, she’s seventeen. You could probably relate to her better than a forty-year-old man, right?”

It clicked into place for her. “I don’t know, Rob. I’m not qualified to help anyone.”

“But you don’t need to help, right? Just listen. Isn’t that what you said? She might talk to you.”

I could see that Jo felt a little trapped. She looked down at me, and I smiled up at her and nodded. I really thought that this would be a good idea—it could help out Rob and Brandy and Samantha, but it would be good for Jo, too, to help someone. I did it, and look at where that got me. Good things happened to you when you did good things.

She replied tentatively, “I don’t know, maybe I can try, Rob, but I don’t know if she’ll want to talk to me....”

“Well, everything I’ve tried hasn’t worked. It’s worth a shot, right?”

“I guess,” she mumbled, but not looking at all convinced that she had the power to reach out and help someone who needed it.


  1. Ohhh, so Jo is the one who's going to help Samantha, not Kris. phew. I like that idea much better.
    This should be interesting.

  2. Ahhhem,

    Ms Pot,

    Remember not so long ago when you were telling me that I had a thing with cliffhangers... and I believe you invented the word "cliffhanged" telling me that even though it wasn't really a cliffhanger you were still antsy enough that you felt like you had been.

    Well, I'm offically cliffhung.

    Their middle of the night sex and how bad he wants her will never cease to impress me, and true to form, they were abolutley fucking adorable in the room, and even when they both were so depressed they couldn't see each other every day.

    But WHAT NOW!!!!!!!!! I am still skeptical about this helping Samantha situation, and they can't just NOT talk about what is next, c'mon Kris.

    I don't even know what else to say.


  3. Jay, I'm with K on this... way to leave us hanging missy!
    I wish you went back to updating daily! :)

  4. omg that was amazing!!!

    I'm really worried for what's going to happen to these two. How the hell are they going to survive being so far away from each other? I'm not sure that it's possible.

    I'm already dreading the day that this story comes to an end. I seriously think I will be depressed. :(

  5. Love the chapter.. Jo is now going to pay it forward with Samantha just like Kris helped her even though she may not know it... can't wait to read more!!!

  6. Wow, excellent chapter as per usual Jay! I am feeling so upbeat about this chapter also which instantly puts me in a good mood.
    First off- doesn't it seem like Jo gets along better with the San Jose family than the Pens family? And Kris seems like he's really coming into his own on this team because he can strut his stuff a little bit more.
    Second- I can't believe that Jo is going to try to talk to Samantha! She's coming full circle developmentally so I feel like this is a good sign also that she's finally getting beyond her own personal problems.
    Third- I melt every time Kris calls Jo "Joey." Such a cute nickname.

    I loved this chapter :)

  7. Any chapter that starts with some steamy loving from Kris Letang is going to be a good one. Ugh, I love them more and more. Legit. I really, really do. Kris is so sweet and caring and made of wonder and awe.

    I loved how Jo wanted to come to practice with him just so they could be together more. It's so impossibly cute<3

    “But I don’t know where that name came from, because Kris is anything but ‘instant.’”
    ^^Lmfao I adore Jo.

    Omg I also LOVED they Victoria's Secret gift card. That was so nice of them and if I was Jo, I'd be in seventh heaven haha

    I'm really excited to see how Jo can help Samantha. Can't wait for the next update!(:

  8. Ditto, I'm totally with K on this one - cliffhung, drawn and quartered.

    At the beginning of this, I wasn't a Tanger fan, now I am, so I must thank you for persuading me to join the Tang Club.

    I hope Samantha is ok, and I'm glad it's not Kris who'll be 'fixing' Samantha. However, when Jo goes, will Samantha turn to the nearest thing to Jo, ie Kris (assuming Jo can get through to her)??? Beaucoup de questions, beaucoup de temps. Comme d'habitude merci pour ce chapitre.

    And you deserve every single one of those followers :)

  9. OMG OMG!!
    Are we really gonna get to see what's going on with Samantha?!

    When Jo was explaining that Sam just needed someone to listen to her I was thinking "you go" then, look what happened haha the subject got brought up!

    Ohh I know this comment is ALL over, but it's late, i'm not all with it, but when "piglet" was brought up again, OH i giggled hahahaha

    Can't wait for the next update!!!! : D

  10. "The purpose of making love is to give the other person more pleasure than you yourself want to receive"
    I think that needs to be screen-printed onto pillowcases everywhere.

    Just love the intimacy of their love-making, the details about the air conditioning, the rough sheets, Jo's soreness make everything so real.

    I think that the sex scenes are difficult to navigate, but you do an amazing job. Their relationship seems to be reaching a new level of closeness. Really love Kris's pride in Jo, the way he wants to take her everywhere and show her off to everyone.

    So romantic!

  11. awesome story! Invigorating.